I-Use - Statistics in education

Data overwhelms our modern lives, however statistical approaches offer tools to help us to organise and interpret data.

The I-USE project has involved the creation of a website which provides easily accessible statistics; some ready-made and some via links to databases. The aim is to increase the use of updated statistics in education for both students and teachers, and develop thinking about the misuse of statistics, so that teachers are more statistically literate.

One main objective of I-Use has been to focus on teaching and learning activities considered necessary for the professional development of teachers who can support their students in becoming statistically literate, capable of reasoning information and making informed decisions based on quantitative information.

One of the goals of the project is the creation of an in-service teacher-training course that will deal with how to make sense of information through different presentation forms and media. The participants will understand how to develop students’ statistical concepts and thinking. An important part of the project has been the production of the I-USE website where students and teachers can find relevant statistical material and a gateway - with pedagogical stepping stones - to online databases like EUROSTAT and World Bank Data. Advice will be provided on how they can integrate these tools and data into their classes. The project will also create web-based tools to support the educational use of statistical information.

Special attention has been paid to the functionality of interactive mapping and navigation and comparisons of time-series data sets. A series of tools enables the mapping of users' own data sets.

Pedagogical advice uses an enquiry and activity-based approach, based on problem-solving and on concept development. Multiple representations of information (physical, numerical and graphical) play an important role in the statistical problem-solving process. The data analysis/interpretation phase requires a thorough understanding of data representations. Different representations of distributions also affect students’ understanding of concepts. One representation may clarify an idea for one student whereas a different representation may be more instructive for another learner. I-USE also demonstrates statistics that can be used in many disciplines.

The project will deal with the assessment of learning, making the distinction between assessment of learning (summative) and assessment for learning (formative) approaches. This will be addressed through the three basic components: cognition, observation and interpretation that underlie all forms of evaluation.

To summarise the project aims to help pupils and teachers:

  • cope with an over-abundance of information-rich resources
  • engage students and teachers in learning to use statistics and working with statistics
  • make statistical education more visible
  • be prepared for the technology-mediated nature of working with statistical information
  • keep up with web-based innovation
  • develop their statistical competence
  • receive training related to different subjects

Further information

There is a free and open teacher training course on the I-Use moodle which deals with how to make sense of statistical information and how to develop students’ statistical concepts and thinking.


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