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Presentation 5H2. Does Statistical Education Include Social Issues?

Jacky Galpin (South Africa)


Presentation Abstract

Teaching statistics at university level has a number of aspects. For main stream students, this includes teaching of theory, ability to apply the theory and ability to derive new theory. Comments from employers of students have lead to a greater emphasis on students working in groups and not just as individuals, gaining some competence in the use of statistical packages as well as word processing and spreadsheets, and in report writing. These are all 'good things' aimed at producing competent, marketable graduates. For the applied students, statistical teaching involves understanding of when to apply what technique, and how to discover problems in the analyses.

However, it can be argued that one also needs to include in the students' education aspects of social issues, and some development of social responsibility, and that statistics courses are an appropriate tool to accomplish this. This paper outlines reasons for placing emphasis on social issues, as well as some methods for this. This is intended to be a paper sparking discussion, as there are sure to be many other, possibly better ways, to accomplish this.


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