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Session 5H. Including Social Issues in the Teaching of Statistics

Session Organizer(s)

Jacky Galpin (South Africa)

Session Abstract

As educators, in aiming to provide our students not only with technical skills, we should also be aware of helping them develop life skills. In recent times there has been increasing emphasis on communication skills, application skills and reporting skills, but we possibly have not yet sufficiently articulated the social issues associated with good data collection and analysis and reporting. We also need to demonstrate to the community the wide field of applicability of statistical techniques, and the need for viewing events from a numerate point of view (among others), in order to interpret what the events mean.

There are many social issues that can and should be raised with our students, which can also be used to illustrate statistical techniques. Examples of this particularly pertinent in South Africa, are issues such as HIV/AIDS, rights of women, etc. For example, HIV/AIDS can be used to discuss regression on indicator variables (HIV negative, HIV+, then later expand to symptomatic and non symptomatic). This could then be combined with a few questions about whether the class thinks that mortality tables apply to them.

This session focuses on the questions: do statisticians have a social responsibility to students to include such issues among the technical issues, and what is the best way of doing this?


Presentation 5H1 The Getting of Wisdom: Educating Statisticians To Enhance Their Clients' Numeracy Eric Sowey (Australia)
Presentation 5H2 Does Statistical Education Include Social Issues? Jacky Galpin (South Africa)
Presentation 5H3 Statistics, Education, and Social Issues: Analyzing Gun Violence Swapna Mukhopadhyay (USA)
Presentation 5H4 Social consciousness and statistics (Panel Discussion) Chair: To be announced
Eric Sowey (Australia)
Jacky Galpin (South Africa)
Swapna Mukhopadhyay (USA)

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