This paper is from Session 5A: Statistical literacy: concepts, gaps, indicators
which comes under Topic 5: Statistics education and the wider society Full topic list
(Thursday 6th, 10:30-12:30)
How statistically literate are adults? Results from two international comparative studies
AbstractNumerous researchers and educators lament the poor state of statistical literacy and statistical skills in the population. However, few authors base their arguments on actual results from comparative or large-scale studies which provide stable, population-level estimates of performance. This talk will present and discuss selected results regarding statistical skills of adults in multiple countries, based on analysis of two data sources. Secondary analyses of data from the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), conducted in 1994-1998 in over 20 countries, were performed with regard to items assessing understanding of bar graphs and pie charts. Implications will be discussed in terms of the need for teaching statistics with a focus on interpretation and communication and on using real-life contexts and tasks in instruction. Conclusions will also be presented regarding the importance of conducting analytic assessments which shed light on multiple types and levels of statistical skills.