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Critical Analysis of Data

February 13, 2019

I’m beginning to plan out my Critical Analysis lessons for Core Maths and I thought I’d share some of the plans and links.

This is an ‘article’ that I’ll show my students:

Superstition dies out in England

People have often been suspicious of the number 13, believing it brings bad luck. This meant that when new roads were built, developers would not include a house number 13 and blocks of flats would miss out floor 13. However, a recent poll suggests that almost half of the roads in England do have a house number 13 as modern developers have decided to go against tradition and include the ‘unlucky’ house.

The intention is to pick it apart and see how much of the article can be justified. I intend to show them the following poll I did as ‘research’ for the article.

Poll House 13

I will be making extensive use of the wonderful QUIBANS website (Questions Inspired By A News Story) by Mark Dawes. In particular, I’ll use one about Cambridge Violent Crime Rates and Manchester United’s pay. I discuss these in Episode 64 of Wrong but Useful with Colin and Belgin.

Steve Phelps shared This ‘nice’ example of a Trump poll on twitter.

I’ve also been shown the website What’s Going on in this Graph by Hannah on twitter. This is a great collection of interesting graphs to interrogate with suggested questions provided too. Here’s an example:

Here’s a collection of misleading graphs from TES which will make for useful discussion in class.

The Hodder and Staughton book I proof read has some free sample pages that include some critical analysis questions.

This fact checking lesson plan looks good if you have enough time.

This site has a few good examples of misleading claims that made it into the news or advertising. This one also runs through some common ways to mislead with statistics.

Quora provides this set of examples with a ludicrous upside-down chart for gun deaths and also a great chart demonstrating the popularity of baseball caps (I promise it’s worth a look).

Here are three further links (supplied to me by CoreMathsCat) that I haven’t fully explored yet but I’m sure they’ll be good!

Maths and Our Health

The Guardian Data

Statistics How To

As ever, if you have any suggestions or links, please do send them to me!

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