RISK LITERACY: FIRST STEPS IN PRIMARY SCHOOL

Christoph Till
unpublished
Data about risks in health care or investments are usually presented in terms of proportions, probabilities and percentages. Research shows that risk communication can be misleading as these representation formats are sometimes hard to understand. Thus a first level of 'Risk Literacy' should be achieved as early as possible. With cognitive psychologists of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy I developed a school intervention on 'Risk' for fourth graders. The intervention contains elements of
more » ... oportional reasoning, loss/benefit trade-offs, conditional probabilities as well as dealing with relative and absolute risks. Prior studies have shown that hands-on materials in form of colored tinker-cubes in combination with 'natural frequencies' and iconic representations constitute a good approach. The intervention was tested and evaluated by means of a pretest, a posttest and a follow-up test. The results indicate that students benefited by the intervention as test performances increased significantly.
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