CLAS Supplementary Start-up Funds: Tamara Shreiner
Data literacy—the ability to read, interpret, and analyze data—has become increasingly important in K-12 education, including within social studies. However, we know little about what data literacy in social studies entails. There are few studies that reveal how prevalent data and statistics are in the resources students typically use to learn social studies, or the challenges students face in making sense of them. The goal of this study is to contribute to our understanding of data literacy in K-12 social studies by (1) determining the role that data visualizations play in communicating information across social studies texts, (2) understanding how teachers use data visualizations for social studies instruction, and (3) providing insight into the challenges students face in making sense of data visualizations. Using a combination of content analysis, semi-structured interviews, and think-alouds, this study answers the questions: How are data visually represented in commonly used social studies texts, and for what purposes? How do teachers incorporate data literacy into instruction? What challenges do students face in reading and interpreting typical data visualizations? Answering such questions can provide important insight for the teaching and learning of data literacy in social studies. Students who are interested in participating in this study have several opportunities open to them: they may help with design of interview protocols; conducting and recording interviews; and interview transcription, segmenting, and coding.