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Computational Skills by Stealth in Secondary School Data Science

10/08/2020
by   Wesley Burr, et al.
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The unprecedented growth in the availability of data of all types and qualities and the emergence of the field of data science has provided an impetus to finally realizing the implementation of the full breadth of the Nolan and Temple Lang proposed integration of computing concepts into statistics curricula at all levels in statistics and new data science programs and courses. Moreover, data science, implemented carefully, opens accessible pathways to stem for students for whom neither mathematics nor computer science are natural affinities, and who would traditionally be excluded. We discuss a proposal for the stealth development of computational skills in students' first exposure to data science through careful, scaffolded exposure to computation and its power. The intent of this approach is to support students, regardless of interest and self-efficacy in coding, in becoming data-driven learners, who are capable of asking complex questions about the world around them, and then answering those questions through the use of data-driven inquiry. This discussion is presented in the context of the International Data Science in Schools Project which recently published computer science and statistics consensus curriculum frameworks for a two-year secondary school data science program, designed to make data science accessible to all.

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