Thursday, September 8, 2016

Statistics Education & Social Justice

In August, I facilitated and attended a planning day with some fellow AP Statistics teachers at Math for America in NYC. We meet regularly throughout the year but we decided that the end of September was too long to wait to fully prepare for our year. Over a dozen of us showed up at the MƒA offices and spent over 4 hours discussing prep for our AP Stats courses. One of the main things on the agenda: how to incorporate social justice into our stats classes.

This has been an ongoing discussion in the Stats community. Rightly so. Statistics is a good place to organically incorporate themes of fairness, social justice, academic access, and public policy. I set out to create a document that other teachers and I could use as a resource, that could be printed as well as used electronically. Luckily, I have a number of colleagues both in MƒA and around the country who are passionate about social justice. They had a lot of great suggestions (and I have included those notes in the document). This will probably get updated as people make more recommendations.

Google doc: Statistics Education & Social Justice

Have any other Stats teachers incorporated social justice in their statistics classrooms? Let me know.


  1. Sorry if this is somewhere in the resource list, but I like to look at one of the original "resume studies," since it has a few good two-proportions tests in there. It was a good entry point for me doing this kind of work in class, since it's a relatively simple paper to read.

    "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?"

    1. It's there now. Thank you. I had this study in the back of my mind and forgot to follow-up on the original source.

  2. Amy --

    After pondering for a couple years about how to incorporate social justice into my AP Stats course, I've decided this year to just start bringing stuff in and see how it evolves. In your post you note that this idea has been active within the statistics community -- if there is an ongoing forum for high school statistics educators to develop this idea, I'd love to be a part of it. Meanwhile, below are a few resources I've selected to use this year.

    "The Missing Statistics of Criminal Justice"

    "Surprising New Evidence Shows Bias in Police Use of Force but Not in Shootings"

    "Roland Fryer Answers Reader Questions About His Police Force Study"

    "On Views of Race and Inequality, Blacks and Whites Are Worlds Apart"

    1. These are great additions, Stephen. Thank you. I'll add to the document when I get the chance.

  3. I was glad to come across this post and for the resources it provides. You do mention that integrating social justice and statistics is an ongoing discussion in the statistics community and I am saddened to say that this has not been my experience. If one considers the research literature, it seems that a significant amount of research has been conducted in mathematics education related to social justice but currently there are only a handful of research articles pertaining to social justice and statistics in prominent statistics education journals. My hope is that this will change and that the research community will begin to embrace sociopolitical perspectives rather than mainly adopting sociocultural or cognitive perspectives when conducting research. Thank you again for putting together these resources