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ERIC Number: EJ975990
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1040-1350
Using Statistics to Lie, Distort, and Abuse Data
Bintz, William; Moore, Sara; Adams, Cheryll; Pierce, Rebecca
Understanding Our Gifted, v22 n1 p14-17 Fall 2009
Statistics is a branch of mathematics that involves organization, presentation, and interpretation of data, both quantitative and qualitative. Data do not lie, but people do. On the surface, quantitative data are basically inanimate objects, nothing more than lifeless and meaningless symbols that appear on a page, calculator, computer, or in one's mind. From this perspective, statistics can't tell truths or lies. Only humans can use statistics to tell honest truths or blatant lies, or something in between, or even both. Young people can use the higher level critical thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation to apply key concepts and issues in their advanced study of statistics. Gifted students who are curious, persistent, and have flexible thought processes enjoy opportunities to work as practicing professionals (e.g., scientists or statisticians) to determine if people have manipulated statistics. Whether a multidisciplinary unit on statistics is used as acceleration or enrichment does not matter. What does matter is how the unit is constructed: The material should be advanced, require young people to think both critically and creatively, make use of real world issues and problems, and allow students to work as practicing professionals. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia