Deficits in the Statistical and Probabilistic Literacy of Citizens: Effects in a World in Crisis

Laura Muñiz-Rodríguez, Luis J. Rodríguez-Muñiz, Ángel Alsina
2020 Mathematics  
The emergency caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has revealed significant deficiencies in citizens' statistical and probabilistic knowledge and in people's understanding of mathematical and, particularly, stochastic models, which may lead to wrong personal or institutional choices, with critical consequences for the entire population. Mathematics teachers play an essential role in ensuring citizens' statistical and probabilistic literacy. This study aimed at analyzing the pedagogical
more » ... ing the pedagogical content knowledge that teachers utilized to teach statistics and probability through considering contextualized situations. In order to accomplish this purpose, fourteen secondary mathematics teachers participated in a formative and evaluative activity that was designed using the transformational professional competence model. During each evaluative phase, a group discussion was conducted. Participants were asked to reflect on their actions when promoting statistical and probabilistic literacy by considering a range of topics (data science, didactic resources, and methodological approaches) that were addressed during the training phase. A mixed, quantitative–qualitative methodological design was used for the data collection and analysis, which involved open-ended, multiple-choice, or scale-type questions that were moderated by the Metaplan® approach and the Mentimeter® software. The main ideas that emerged from the results indicated the need to reinforce the use of real data, technological resources to handle the visualization of information, the elaboration of different types of graphs besides the classical ones, and the formulation of hypotheses. The initial diagnosis will continue within a research and practice community made up of teachers and researchers. Therefore, a working proposal based on examples and models contextualized within the COVID-19 crisis is presented in order to enhance secondary mathematics teachers' pedagogical content knowledge.
doi:10.3390/math8111872 fatcat:tks7yexdcvfjdjeg6iwtlebgd4