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The Joy of data analysis and critical thinking – a Welsh perspective

Rhys Jones (The University of Auckland) gave the Keynote at the 2017 Statistics teachers day. The Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification (WBQ) has been widely adopted by most secondary schools within Wales. In year 12 and 13, 50% of the qualification requires students to collect primary data and also conduct secondary data analysis to write a 5000-word research report. To help teachers develop effective teaching strategies and resources, Welsh Government funding enabled key networking events to establish a WBQ teacher conference at Cardiff University. This talk will describe the processes involved in supporting teachers’ delivery of critical thinking and data analysis techniques, that underpin essential elements of the WBQ qualification.

Resources developed in collaboration with university academic staff and secondary school teachers will also be discussed and are available from

The Joy of data analysis and critical thinking RJ (Statistics day 2017 Presentation)

Rhys also recommended the following reading regarding the Q-step course in Manchester to further understand how collaboration, in particular embedding statistical methods into industry domains can enhance learning for students and teachers.

Rhys Jones is a Professional Teaching Fellow at the Department of Statistics, University of Auckland. Prior to this appointment, he was a Lecturer in Quantitative Methods (FE – Further Education) and also a member of the Cardiff Q-Step team at Cardiff University. As the FE lead, Rhys worked across the UK with schools, colleges, the Welsh Government and awarding bodies to raise the profile of contextualised statistics at key stages 4 and 5 (year 11-13). Rhys has been involved in developing new accreditation standards for degree courses with statistical content, as well as assessing employability skills needed by external agencies such as the Office for National Statistics (UK), the Welsh Government and the Royal Voluntary Sector (UK).

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