This paper is from Session 5E: Assessing statistical literacy and critical understanding of real-world messages related to statistics, probability, and risk
Full topic list
which comes under Topic 5: Assessment in statistics education

(Monday 12th, 16:30-18:00)

It’s not what you know, it’s recognising the power of what you know: assessing understanding of utility



  • Dave Pratt (University of London, United Kingdom)


Traditional approaches to assessing ‘understanding’ in mathematics and statistics education tend to focus on the two strands of procedural competence and conceptual knowledge. We take as our starting point the idea that this does not fully capture what it is to understand mathematical and statistical ideas, and suggest a third dimension of understanding which we call utility; that is, knowing why, when and how a particular idea can be used and the power which it offers. We suggest that this is a key feature of statistical literacy, without which knowledge of statistical ideas cannot be effectively applied. In this paper we draw on examples from our current and past research to explore how the assessment of understanding of utility may be approached.