Two of the top three expected curricular competencies in British Columbia’s grade 10 and 11 social studies curricula focus on students’ inquiry processes and data literacy skills. Data literacy is the ability to pose authentic questions, collect and analyze relevant data, and make informed conclusions. Recent studies (e.g., source) also suggest the importance of data literacy in social studies education. Such skills combine inquiry-based instruction, learning with data, and critical thinking. However, data literacy initiatives often focus in the domain of STEM education. There is a lack of similar initiative in social studies education that outline principled approaches and best practices to integrate data literacy in the classroom.
In this workshop, we draw from our experience of working with secondary school students and teachers (in BC and the US) in using infographic-based science news reporting for developing data literacy skills. Infographics are visual representation of data and ideas that can be used as effective learning tools. We introduce techniques and technologies of engaging students in learning with and representing data with the purpose of developing data-driven arguments. We will involve attendees in analyzing and critiquing published science infographics in small groups. We will then guide the group through an infographic creation process, utilizing online databases, accessing open data portals (in BC and Canada) and benefiting from other information sources, which has been tested and refined with students. We will describe and provide resources for utilizing a variety of computer-based and web-based tools to aid infographic creation and publishing in social studies classrooms. We’ll also introduce ways of providing effective feedback to students who create data-driven infographics.
Social studies teachers in BC secondary schools
Engida Gebre (PhD) is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University. Dr. Gebre's research focuses on designing engaging learning environments for developing data literacy skills of secondary school students. He works with teachers in BC and the US on integrating data literacy in various disciplines. Esteban Morales is a master's student in Educational Technology and Learning Design at SFU. His research focuses on data literacy and storytelling with data.