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The CensusAtSchool is a project conducted by Several countries. It started as a trial project by Dr. Sharleen Forbes of Statistics New Zealana in 1990 with 60000 primary school students participating. The Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education, based at Nottingham Trent University, started the CensusAtSchool project in 2000 in conjunction with National Statistics. Since then, the project has been conducted in several countries. The data from all these countries’ surveys can be found in the international Census at School web page. This page contains information about all the projects. The ISLP endorses the magnificent efforts of these countries to bring statistical literacy to their country’s children. There is a blog for the CensusAtSchool international project. Please, contact Chris Wild if you want to be added to the blog .
This page used to be coordinated by Neville Davies until 2008. It is now a Wiki page and you may enter activities in it. Please, consult with the ISLP Director before you do that, to make sure that the content of your activity corresponds to this page. Thanks.
The meeting of the CensusAtSchool participating countries in Melbourne, March 26-29, was a success, marking a historical landmark in the development of the project and statistical literacy in the world. Countries achieved common understanding. Existing projects agreed upon strategies to develop a unified international project open to other countries in other languages within the next year. New ideas were developed to increase student’s interest in statistical literacy globally. The participating countries (South Africa, France, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia) will soon be informing of the future plans. The CensusAtSchool Project is the most comprehensive approach to exposing children to data analysis and the whole statistical process at an informal level, while allowing children of the world to compare each other to enhance their mutual understanding and statistical literacy. Read more in our CensusAtSchool page in the ISLP. The pictures above show the countries at work during these intense 4 days. There is no web site for the First Workshop.
CensusAtSchool has entered some curriculum guidelines in some countries, see for example, the NCTM 2006 . The pictures above show the countries at work during these intense 4 days at the ABS .
The Second CensusAtSchool International Workshop took place on July 28-31 at UCLA, the University of California, Los Angeles. It was hosted by the Department of Statistics and organized by http://www.stat.ucla.edu/~jsanchez. There is a Website for the Workshop, where you can find the program, the power point presentations, the hands on activities and the sponsors, and also browse some photos. This second workshop had two parts. One first part, July 28-29, was opened to the public with the intention of letting the largest possible number of people interested attend and participate in hands on activities. The second part, July 30-31, for the participating countries, consisted was an organizational meeting to plan the future of the CensusAtSchool as a truly international organization. An evaluation of the progress made since the First Workshop was done, and new guidelines for further progress in cooperation were outlined. The minutes of the closed meeting are not available here, but you may obtain them by joining the CensusAtSchool blog. See the beginning of this page for that.
Note: Project websites and other information is listed here alphabetically by country. At the end are some paragraphs describing the CensusAtSchool and ExperimentsAtSchool projects for the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Statistical literacy activities for related to national Census of various countries are found on the training pages and the programs pages
The Australian CensusAtSchool Project is based on a program developed by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) Centre for Statistical Education in the United Kingdom. The project was introduced to Australian schools in 2005 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, aimed at meeting two key objectives:
(1) the development of statistical literacy among students in years 5 - 12 across Australia (2) to promote the Census of Population and Housing.
CensusAtSchool is an internet based data collection and analysis project modelled on the Census process where students respond to questions of interest about themselves by completing the CensusAtSchool online questionnaire. It is a non-compulsory learning activity aimed at improving statistical literacy and promoting the Census among students. The project allows students to take ownership of the data, providing a gateway for looking at statistics as more than just dry figures.
The first data collection was conducted in 2006, with over 112,000 students submitting a CensusAtSchool questionnaire. Since then, a second run of the collection phase in 2008 received 44,000 questionnaires.
The CensusatSchool project in Australia was previously conducted in Queensland and a similar project was conducted in South Australia (titled SeniorSchoolCensusOnline). For 2006, the organizations responsible for these two state projects decided not to run their respective data collections and are working collaboratively with ABS to develop the Australia-wide project.
The Proceedings of ICOTS 7, invited section 9D, contain an article by Soo Kong and Anthony Harradine, “CensusAtSchool in Australia” In this article, the authors summarize the success of CensusAtSchool in Australia since its implementation in 2003. IT is a must read for any groups planning to start CensusAtSchool in their country.
Website related to CensusAtSchool in Queensland “The emphasis of the 2003 Queensland CensusAtSchool is on sport and recreational activities. Most of the questions have direct links to the Health and Physical Education Curriculum. In 2001 students from participating Queensland schools have completed their Census forms and data from all over Queensland was entered into a database and analysed. Results ... are now available on the Results Page.” (quoted from opening paragraphs of webpage). This webpage also has links to other CensusAtSchool pages. (See below under Background Information... for more details). For 2006, the organizations responsible for Census at School in Queensland decided not to run their respective data collections and are working collaboratively with ABS to develop the Australia-wide project.
“The initial phase of this project specifically addresses the needs of teachers and students in South Australia arising from the introduction of new senior school mathematics courses by the Senior Secondary Board of South Australia (SSABSA) in 2003.... The project consists of five major phases: *teacher professional development *student and teacher consultation to form survey *conducting the census *use of the census output in the classrooms of South Australia *evaluation of the project.” (Quoted from webpage) For 2006, the organization responsible for this project decided not to run their respective data collections and are working collaboratively with ABS to develop the Australia-wide project.
The Canadian component of Census at School is hosted by Statistics Canada’s Education Outreach Program. Some of the questions on the Canadian survey are common to all participating countries; others were developed in Canada. None of the survey questions asks for confidential or identifiable personal information. Responses remain anonymous as no names or identification numbers are attached to them.This project combines fun with learning, to the delight of hundreds of thousands of students around the world who have already participated. They discover how to use and interpret data about themselves as part of their classroom learning in math, social sciences or information technology. They also learn about the importance of the national census in providing essential information for planning education, health, transportation and many other services. Census at School offers students a golden opportunity to be involved in the collection and analysis of their own data and to experience what a census is like.
Student responses are added onto the Canadian database which is on a secure server controlled by Statistics Canada. It contains no identifiable information such as names, identification numbers or e-mail addresses. Only teachers have direct access to their own class’s results by means of a password. From the public part of the website, students and teachers may also view Canadian summary tables or request random responses from Canada and other participating countries that would not identify any student, class or school.
Mary Townsend, Co-ordinator, Education Outreach Statistics Canada, Jean Talon Bldg, 13th Floor, Section C-7, Ottawa ON K1A OT6 Tel: (613) 951-6443
The Proceedings of ICOTS 7, invited section 9D, contain an article by Mary Townsend, “Measuring Success: How CensusAtSchool engages Canadian Students in Active Learning Outcomes.” In this article, she summarizes the success of CensusAtSchool in Canada since its implementation in 2003. IT is a must read for any groups planning to start CensusAtSchool in their country.
Released in the Statistics Canada Daily today, June 5 2007- Teacher’s Guide to Data Dicovery, a free online publication from Statistics Canada's Education Outreach program.
This guide was developed by Mary Townsend, written from a teacher’s perspective in an easy- to- read style by Angela McCanny, a Census At School resource teacher, and edited by Elise Mennie. It supports both elementary and secondary educators in helping students develop basic statistical skills and provides specific instructions on:
finding interesting and grade-appropriate datasets choosing appropriate graphs for different kinds of data calculating basic statistical measures, with or without statistical software
Please take a look. The Guide provides simple information on some of the fundamentals of stats and is just what teachers who are participating in Census At School (or not) are looking for !
Article Forbes, Sharleen. Raising Statistical Awareness In Teaching Statistics, Autumn 1996, Volume 18, Number 3, Pages 66 to 69. This article describes the organization and results of the 1990 New Zealand Children’s Census.
CensusAtSchool NZ aims to:
CensusAtSchool NZ involves an online children’s survey for school Years 5 through to 10. Schools take part voluntarily, with students completing the survey during lesson time, then submitting their data to contribute to an international database. Some questions are in common with the other countries, to provide comparisons between countries, while tailoring the remainder of the questionnaire to reflect the interests of New Zealand children. Results and sample data will be made available to teachers once the ‘census’ is complete, while classroom resources will be developed over time.
CensusAtSchool NZ is hosted by the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland in association with Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry of Education.
CensusatSchool in South Africa was implemented in 2001 across all nine regions of the country in 22,000 out of 27,000 possible schools (See below under Background Information... for more details). As of January 2007 it is somehow stopped, but plans exist to revive it. The promotional material used by Statistics South Africa CensusAtSchool is an excellent documentation of the success of this project when it was done. It also illustrates very well the large impact that conducting the activity had on Children in the Country.
Website on the International CensusAtSchool Project “The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) Centre for Statistical Education, based at Nottingham Trent University, started the CensusAtSchool project in 2000 in conjunction with National Statistics. In addition it was funded by the Maths Year 2000 initiative and the RSS itself. The project is on going and, by continuing it, the Centre has three main aims: 1) To provide real data for data-handling activities across the National Curriculum; 2) To increase awareness of what a national census is, and what it is for; 3) To show how Information and Communications Technology (ICT) can be used effectively to enhance learning and teaching resources for good practice in data handling.
Today, several countries (Australia, New Zealand, Canada and United Kingdom) are running this project in their countries. All of these countries’ data, activities, and codebooks can be reached through the International CensusAtSchool Project web site maintained by the RSS. A random sample of data from each country can be obtained via this web site.
The United States does not have a CensusAtSchool activity implemented in any school (See note above on the plans of California to have one by 2008). However, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 2006 Yearbook, Thinking and Reasoning with Data and Chance, contains in Chapter 12 and 13 articles on the effectiveness of CensusAtSchool as an activity to implement the NCTM new guidelines for reasoning with data and chance across the Mathematics currriculum. The NCTM yearbook is a must read for all those interested in new school curriculum. The NCTM is in a Joint NCTM/ASA Committee with the American Statistical Association and consults with GAISE to bring to the US the latest in introducing data and chance in the Pre-K-12 curriculum. The College Board Guidelines mention where in the curriculum each aspect of the NCTM/GAISE guidelines things should go.
The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) Centre for Statistical Education, based at Nottingham Trent University, started the CensusAtSchool project in 2000 in conjunction with National Statistics. In addition it was funded by the Maths Year 2000 initiative and the RSSitself. The project is on going and, by continuing it, the Centre has three main aims: 1) To provide real data for data-handling activities across the National Curriculum; 2) To increase awareness of what a national census is, and what it is for;3) To show how Information and Communications Technology (ICT) can be used effectively to enhance learning and teaching resources for good practice in data handling.
Between Autumn 2000 and March 2001, across England, Wales and Northern Ireland thousands of young people between the ages of 7 to 16 took part in the project through their schools, using the Internet site www.censusatschool.ntu.ac.uk. The original CensusAtSchool questionnaire comprised a single A4 sheet with 17 or 18 simple questions covering information about pupils, their households and their school life. While some of the questions were identical to those in the UK population census that took place in April 2001, others were designed to appeal to the pupil’s own interests and enthusiasms. Over 2000 primary, secondary and special schools registered for the project and over 60,000 school children took part. Since then other countries have taken part since the questions we pose can be asked of school children worldwide with necessary adjustments to reflect local culture and traditions.
In May 2001, in Queensland, Australia (www.oesr.qld.gov.au/censusatschool/home.htm), the Office for Economic and Statistics Research (OESR) carried out the CensusAtSchool project with great success, and their website carries similar curriculum resources and access to data as the UK one. The OESR will be running it for a second time in March 2003. In October 2001 Statistics South Africa (http://www.statssa.gov.za/census01/html/C2001CensusatSchools.asp) implemented the project across all nine regions of the country in 22,000 of their 27,000 schools. The returns from SA schools number over 3.5 million and they now have a policy to integrate these data into their forward-looking Curriculum 2005 by the end of 2003. Italy carried out a similar project to the UK one in March 2001 and they used many identical questions. Norway have a version, currently on their population census website. In 2003, using a Teaching Fellowship grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand, and in conjunction with the University of Auckland and Statistics New Zealand, a named Auckland teacher will roll out of the project in New Zealand schools. Later in 2003 Statistics Canada will be implementing the project in Canadian schools.
Since September 2002, the RSS Centre has been running phase three of the project in the UK. The questionnaire, which is completed by pupils on-line using a web form, comprises just 14 questions that include some that involve pupils measuring, counting and estimating. A new UK project, called the Kent Schools’ Passport, uses the CensusAtSchool idea to connect pupils through data collected about them in primary school and subsequently in their secondary school. The worldwide database, which now comprises over 800,000 responses, can be sampled over the Internet for use in creating learning and teaching materials. It will enable teachers across the world to enhance teaching and learning data handling. The involvement of different countries vastly increases the potential for exchange of information between school-aged children and is a unique way to assess global, social and other changes. It has the added bonus of providing ICT, education and motivational resources for both teachers and children.
Recently, the RSS Centre has introduced a new project called ExperimentsAtSchool that is related to the CensusAtSchool project. Using the CensusAtSchool practice of collecting data from pupils, and disseminating them, using the Internet, the RSS Centre for Statistical Education is going to collect data from science experiments done at school by students across the whole age range in primary and secondary schools. The web site is at http://experimentsatschool.lsz.ntu.ac.uk/ where you will find 8 experiments that any school in the world can take part in. You will need a school identifier code to enable you to input data, but if you or your school are outside the UK and want to take part, contact email@example.com for an id number. Other ways to become involved in the ExperimentsAtSchool project include: 1. Suggesting experiments which would generate data of interest; 2. Volunteering for your school to take part in the pilot trials for selected experiments during May – July 2003; 3. Researching and/or designing and writing new experiments; 4. Helping to write and/or trial classroom resources based on the data collected in the project. Note: Participants from any country are welcome. Some useful references related to CensusAtSchool are: * Connor, D., Davies, N. and Holmes, P. (2000). CensusAtSchool 2000. Teaching Statistics, 22, 66-70.
* Connor, D. and Davies, N. (2002). An International Resource for Learning and Teaching. Teaching Statistics, 24, 59-61.
* Connor, D. and Holmes, P (2002). Classroom and Worksheet Activities across the Curriculum. Teaching Statistics, 24, 55-58.
* Connor, D., Davies, N. and Payne, B. (2002). Web-based Project and Key Skills Work. Teaching Statistics, 24, 62-65.
* Davies, N., Connor, D. and Spencer, N. M. (2003). An International Project for the Development of the Data Handling Skill of Teachers and Pupils. Journal of Applied Mathematics and Decision Sciences, 5(2), 1-10.
* Holmes, P. (2002). Assessment: New Ways of Pupils Evaluation Using Real Data. Teaching Statistics, 24, 87-89.
* Hunt, N. and Tyrrell, S (2002). Cleaning Dirty Data in Excel. Teaching Statistics, 24, 90–91.
For further information on the projects described in this “Background Information...” section, contact Neville Davies, Royal Statistical Society (RSS) Centre for Statistical Education, Nottingham Trent University, UK, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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