STATISTICAL LITERACY

Statistical literacy is mentioned far less than quantitative literacy or quantitative reasoning.  But Lynn Steen saw it as central to quantitative literacy and to numeracy.  Here are quotes by Lynn or from those writing in books that he edited.

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Achieving Quantitative Literacy (2004). Ed. Lynn Steen

Quotes by Lynn Steen unless otherwise cited.

Q/L and Mathematics

P. 33. "quantitative literacy is inextricably tied with mathematics and statistics."

Statistics:

P. 41.  "As mathematics is the science of patterns, statistics is the science of data.  Thus statistics' link to QL is inherently stronger than that of mathematics.  Reasoning logically and confidently with data is a crucial component of any curriculum for quantitative literacy."

P. 43. "In reality, data analysis -- what most statisticians actually practice -- is typically more than the average person needs to be an informed citizen, intelligent consumer or skilled worker.  What everyone needs is typically called statistical thinking or statistical literacy, a crucial component of quantitative literacy."

p. 43.  "Although most adults see probabilistic and statistical arguments every day, few have any preparation to make sense out of them." Deborah Hughes Hallet

Context

P. 47.  "The essence of QL is to use mathematical and logical thinking in context.  That is why statistics is cited more often than calculus as a good course in which to learn numeracy."

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Quantitative Literacy
:
Why Numeracy Matters for Schools and Colleges
(2003). Ed. Bernie Madison and Lynn Steen

Quotes by Lynn Steen unless otherwise cited.


"Numeracy lies at the intersection of statistics, mathematics and democracy.  Like statistics, numeracy is centered on interpretation of data; like mathematics, numeracy builds on arithmetic and logic.  But the unique niche filled by numeracy is to support citizens in making decisions informed by evidence."  " Numeracy is largely an approach to thinking about issues that employs and enhances both statistics (the science of data) and mathematics (the science of patterns).  Yet unlike statistics, which is primarily about uncertainty, numeracy is often about the logic of certainty.  And unlike mathematics, which is primarily about the Platonic realm of abstract structures, numeracy often is anchored in data derived from and attached to the empirical world."   Lynn Steen, p. 62-63.


"In reality, full-bore data analysis is more than most people need to deal with the statistical issues of everyday life and work."  P. 146 "Many statisticians would probably disagree with the statement in Mathematics and Democracy that QL is "not the same as statistics."  Indeed many think that a very large part of QL is statistics..." p.147   "Those experienced with teaching statistics suggest that one way to garner administrative support [for QL across the curriculum] and foster institutional change is to tie much of QL to the statistics curriculum, everywhere it is housed."  p.149   "Statistics and quantitative literacy have much in common.  Although few would disagree with this, statisticians would probably argue that QL is mainly statistics while mathematicians and mathematics educators tend to argue that QL is only partly statistics." p. 151  Richard Scheaffer


"many aspects of statistical thinking are not about numbers as much as about concepts and habits of mind.  For example, the idea of a lurking variable upsetting an apparent bivariate relationship with observational data is a conceptual idea, part of statistical thinking, but not particularly about numbers." p. 150 Richard Scheaffer.

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