This paper is from Session 8C: Making sense of risk
Full topic list
which comes under Topic 8: Research in statistics education

(Wednesday 14th, 11:00-13:00)

Teaching uncertainty and risk in mathematics and science




We are investigating how secondary teachers make sense of the concept of risk, how it figures in their teaching, and what possibilities exist when a cross-curricular and technology-enhanced approach is taken. We have developed decision-making scenarios for socio-scientific topics that involve modelling with personal value systems alongside strictly quantifiable mathematical models. Precise models are limited and may be hedged around with judgements about authority and validity, whilst value judgements are generally weakly-quantifiable. Nevertheless coming to a decision requires the weighing of these diverse forms of information, each having some associated estimation (not necessarily numerical) of ‘risk’. Going beyond the idea of risk in statistical theory, we are trying to understand how personal values and models influence thinking about risk and the process of decision-making, and the implications of this for classroom practice