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Making Sense of Data-based Information in Society: What should students learn?

Associate Professor Maxine Pfannkuch explores whether students currently leaving school have the ability to understand and critically evaluate data information that will affect their lives.


What statistical thinking skills do students need in order to participate intelligently in society? In an age of fake news, alternative facts and data-based evidence, what “worry questions” would help students make sense of and question data-based arguments? Are students currently leaving school with the ability to understand and critically evaluate data information that will affect their lives, for example, in the health, environment, justice and political arenas?


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Recorded Lecture

Click on the image above to watch the recording of this lecture.
(1 hr 8min)


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About the Speaker

Associate Professor Maxine Pfannkuch is in the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland and is internationally recognized in the field of statistics education. She started work as a secondary mathematics teacher and over a number of years became Head of Department, a mathematics adviser, and a teacher educator before moving to the University of Auckland in 1994 to complete her PhD on characterizing statistical thinking. Her research interests centre on enhancing 11 to 19-year-old students’ statistical and probabilistic reasoning and statistical literacy, as well as conceptual understanding through the use of dynamic visualizations. For many years she has been involved in the development of the secondary school statistics curriculum in New Zealand and in teachers’ professional learning.