Numeracy from Practice to Theory: Using Interactive Case Studies

"Numeracy is to numbers what literacy is to letters:" a basic skill that must be acquired in real, authentic contexts. In this workshop, we surface teachers' (and participants') beliefs on how context helps or hinders students' successful problem-solving, and see how interactive tools can build understanding of a challenging concept in statistics, within an engaging context. The practical understanding gained from these contexts then builds theoretical understanding of the concepts they necessitated.

Workshop Recap & Interactives

How To Create an Interactive Case Study
Brief introduction to building interactive data and charts using form controls in Microsoft Excel.
Watch on YouTube (5 min.)
Online Interactive Case Study Examples
Use data from 2000 NAEP 4th-grade math scores in three states, which are confounded across racial categories, to discover how Simpson's Paradox works:
Simpson's Paradox Tool
Beginning with Sweden's income distribution (most equitable in the world), adjust income levels by quintile to approximate other countries:
Income Inequality Tool
Motivation for this tool, from a PBS NewsHour segment inspired by Norton & Ariely's 2011 work:
Watch on YouTube (3:17)


Workshop Slides
Download (PDF)
Workshop Video
On education spending and performance, and Simpson's Paradox
Watch on YouTube (3 min.)
Supporting Articles
Nathan & Koedinger 2000
An Investigation of Teachers' Beliefs of Students' Algebra Development. Cognition and Instruction 18(2), 209-237.
Koedinger & Nathan 2004
The Real Story Behind Story Problems: Effects of Representations on Quantitative Reasoning. J. Learning Sciences 13(2), 129-164.
Terwilliger & Schield 2004
Frequency of Simpson's Paradox in NAEP Data. AERA 2004.