More Relevant and Inclusive: How Statistics Education Can Better Serve Our Students

October 10, 2023

Statistics classes have a poor reputation among many groups of students, particularly within the social sciences. These classes may be taught in a narrow way that focuses on the mathematics behind statistical models but misses the broader context and human biases that comprise a large part of data analysis and reporting. This narrow focus may be particularly problematic as the world becomes increasingly data-driven and data literacy becomes an essential skill for all our students. This seminar will describe various research and programmatic initiatives to address these issues. These include how statistics instructors can utilize more inclusive pedagogy principles as well as more critical perspectives such as those offered by QuantCrit. In addition, a mentoring program for undergraduate students and relevant outcomes will be described as well as the creation of a reading list covering the topic of statistics and social justice for use by students and instructors. Taken together these changes can increase the relevance of statistics classes for students, increase their confidence in the subject matter, and increase their ability to use and critique statistics in their own work.
Dr. Lorah is currently an assistant professor at Clemson University in the Education and Human Development department where she teaches various statistics classes. Her research interests include statistics education and its intersection with social justice issues, as well as statistical modeling, particularly the multilevel model and moderation model.