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This is a session of Topic 8: Research in statistics education

(Wednesday 16th, 10:55-12:25)

Research on risk literacy



According to the British sociologist Anthony Giddens, a risk society is “a society increasingly preoccupied with the future (and also with safety), which generates and turns around the notion of risk”. The modern human being, in practically all societies, is less at risk than her/his ancestor in the middle ages, and definitely less at risk than the cave woman/man. Yet, an important new aspect in today’s societies is that risk can be conceptualized, quantified, evaluated and understood, thanks to the advent of probability theory and statistics. The risk of an action or decision can be defined as the expected hazard associated with it. Expected hazards are described by means of probability theory. While risk analysis can become a highly sophisticated matter, the basic elements of risk assessment can be conveyed to young children.

The difference between relative and absolute risk reduction should be understood by every citizen of a modern society; it can be grasped by young children when they deal with adequate representation formats. Fostering a basic understanding of risk in schools is becoming both a plausible and a mandatory task in school curricula. The talks in this symposium will be devoted to the stochastic tools teachers can and should acquire in order to foster their pupils’ risk literacy, i.e., their basic competencies in the understanding and communicating of risk.


PaperTitlePresenter / Co-author(s)
8I1Getting alternative representations for risk into the school syllabusDavid Spiegelhalter (United Kingdom)
Jenny Gage (United Kingdom)
8I3Risk literacy: first steps in primary schoolChristoph Till (Germany)
8I4Comparing fast and frugal trees and Bayesian networks for risk assessmentKathryn Laskey (United States)
Laura Martignon (Germany)