Data Science

The ability to work with, understand, and use data has become an essential life skill and requirement for an ever-expanding range of jobs and careers.  Data is everywhere around us.  Ninety percent of the world’s data has been created in the last two years (Marr, 2018).  This new data intensive world can be difficult to navigate; decisions that used to be straightforward are now more complex, requiring individuals to be constantly separating fact from fiction.  In short, the need to analyze and interpret data is no longer confined to engineering or computer programming; it has become an essential life skill.  Everywhere we turn, data is telling and weaving stories about our world.

Yet, the K-12 education landscape has been slow to recognize the changes the data explosion has made to society (Wilkerson & Laina, 2017).  We are woefully under-preparing our students to successfully navigate the 21st century.  The mathematics we teach is rooted in the 1950s space race and offers little practical utility in the 21st century.  There is a distinct and widening gap when it comes to the skills and competencies students need in life compared to what is taught in schools.

To prepare learners adequately and succeed as an educational reform, a fundamental shift is needed when it comes to the standards and competencies students are taught. However, we need to build a common definition of data science in K-12. What should be taught to students in K-12 education? What competencies will produce individuals who are data literate when they graduate from grade 12? These difficult questions require multiple communities to come together and address current roadblocks. See the resources below to learn more.

An article by Tanya LaMar and Jo Boaler

Click here to visit the website for Explorations in Data Science, our full-year curriculum

An article by Jo Boaler, Tanya LaMar and Cathy Williams published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Jo Boaler is featured in this article on equipping students for a data-driven world (for non-subscriber access, exit popup windows)

Pamela Burdman of Just Equations makes the argument for data science in K-12 education.

Math curricula are designed to shepherd students toward calculus. Some mathematicians think this path is outdated

A PDF on ways for students to practice considering and interpreting a variety of data and data representations

A collection of short (5-10 minute) classroom discussions to help students develop data literacy

A film by Women in Data Science at Stanford University

Resources, organizations, and people working to make data science, stats, and modeling part of K-12

Our newest online course, focused on integrating data science into teaching

Lessons from “21st Century Teaching and Learning.”  Grade ranges suggested, but with creativity, they can be used in any grade!

Short films featured in the online course “21st Century Teaching and Learning”

TED Talk: “Own your Body’s Data” by Harvey Mudd Data Scientist/Statistician

The youcubed team collaborated with graphic artists to create a picture book about data science and data literacy!

Five units of youcubed lessons for grades 6-10 that introduce students (and teachers) to data science

Jo Boaler introducing the K-12 Data Revolution

A summit at Stanford advances a movement to modernize the U.S. mathematics curriculum by getting data science into K-12 schools

An op-ed in the LA Times by Jo Boaler and Steven Levitt

A short paper by Jo Boaler and Steven Levitt

An activity from The Learning Network of the New York Times featuring sonic “fingerprints”

A task adapted from book 3 of the Mindset Mathematics curriculum series

Conrad Wolfram’s presentation at the Youcubed Data Science Summit

A Freakonomics episode on data literacy, featuring Jo Boaler

Free open-source data science activities for students

TED Talk:  Teach statistics before calculus!