Research Results Part 6: Data Literacy Research References and Resources
Even though work in the field of data literacy can feel a bit lonely at times, truth is it is not entirely new and undocumented. During the research process that has been described over these blog posts, we have been lucky to come across valuable sources of information on the topic – researchers and practitioners have devoted writing time to data literacy in civil society and in academia.
To close off the blog posts sharing our main findings, we found it suitable to share a bit of information about the resources that informed the process.
A quick dive into the history of data literacy
Even though data literacy efforts in civil society might seem recent, they fit into a much longer history of numeracy, statistical literacy (and, of course, literacy in general). When looking into the broader literature, we found articles devoting time to narrow and define this field, especially as compared to others. We recommend taking a look at:
- the work of Iddo Gal (Adults’ statistical literacy: Meanings, components, responsibilities in International Statistical Review),
- Paul Hewson (Statistical literacy explained?),
- Deborah Rumsey (Statistical Literacy as a Goal for Introductory Statistics Courses) and
- Milo Schield (Odyssey: A journey to lifelong statistical literacy).
For a shorter (but comprehensive) account of broader research in this field, we found Data Pop Alliance’s Beyond Data Literacy: Reinventing Community Engagement and Empowerment in the Age of Data to be illuminating.
The origins of School of Data
If you were around in School of Data in 2012, the information in tis section might be redundant for you… but many of the newer School of Data community members haven’t had the chance to learn how it all started.
- A 2012 announcement by Rufus Pollock and Philip Schmidt,
- Laura Newman’s Laying Foundations for the School of Data (from the same year) are today almost historical gems.
- Lucy Chambers’ 5 years in 5 posts. Part 3: Teaching documents the origins of data expeditions
We also want to point out to Sam Leon’s blog post talking about his embedded fellowship in Global Witness – one of School of Data’s first experiments with longer term processes.
Academic research meets data literacy work
Data literacy training efforts in civil society are similar to some of those documented by academic researchers, and that’s why we decided to take a look at how they are being discussed in the literature. Sources that we recommend:
- Rahul Bhargava and Catherine D’Ignazio’s Designing Tools and Activities for Data Literacy Learners,
- Ellen Mandinach and Edith Gummer’s A Systemic View of Implementing Data Literacy in Educator Preparation;
- Teaching Open Data for Social Movements: a Research Strategy Data literacy in civil society by Alan Freihof Tygel et al.
Data literacy in civil society
Perhaps not in journal articles, but civil society organizations and individuals around the world have also devoted efforts to the documentation of their work in the field. Some of the highlights:
- Maya Ganesh, Beatrice Martini and Dirk Slater’s What We Learned from Sex Workers, examines a long-term engagement supporting sex workers advocates in collecting and using data in an effort to combat police violence
- Drawing by numbers, Tactical Tech’s original guide to visualising data for advocacy – both helpful as a historical document but also contains useful and practical guidance.
- 2015 International Open Data Conference: Enabling the Data Revolution: An International Open Data Roadmap.
- These resources (and many more) can be found over at the Data Literacy group we began in Zotero.
Thank you for participating and following the data literacy research process we underwent! Our blog post series has now been completed and we encourage you to take a look at it. If you want to send feedback or get in touch, please do so at dataliteracy [at] fabriders.net.