Milo Schield:
Director of the
W. M. Keck Statistical Literacy Project
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Statistical Literacy Textbook


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This is the text being used as the Statistical Literacy textbook at Augsburg College.  This text was developed as a key part of the W. M. Keck Statistical Literacy Project.


In 2005, Capella University began offering Statistical Literacy on-line using this textbook. Dr. Valerie Perkins, Dean of Capella's School of Under-graduate Studies, notes, "Schield's approach to statistical literacy helps Capella students think critically while satisfying Capella's general education requirement in mathematical and logical reasoning."


Peter Holmes, Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education, said, "I am convinced that the standard first course in statistics, which focuses on getting to significance testing and confidence intervals, isn't an appropriate aim for a lot of students. I think Milo's approach to statistical literacy is much closer to what is needed by journalists, by policy makers, by those in business commerce or management and by most people in everyday life."


Statistical Literacy is closely related to numeracy, quantitative literacy/reasoning and statistical thinking/reasoning.  They all focus on concepts or techniques involving numbers in context -- typically numbers presented in the daily news.


But there are differences. Quantitative literacy/reasoning typically focuses on math topics such as rates and rates of change, percent of, graphs of change (first and second derivatives), linear and exponential rates of growth, accumulation (integral), installment loans, savings and weighted averages, indexes and condensed measures, estimation, plane geometry, graphical production and representation and probability (single and conditional).  Statistical thinking/reasoning typically focuses on statistics involving distributions and variation -- specifically random variation such as that encountered in random selection or random assignment.  Both quantitative reasoning and statistical thinking focus primarily on math problems, math techniques and math concepts. 


Statistical Literacy is quite different.  Statistical Literacy studies statistics used as evidence in everyday arguments.  As such this text may be closer to critical thinking or rhetoric than to mathematics or statistics.  This text uses the admonition, "Take CARE!" as a reminder that statistics are human constructs.  Statistical literacy studies those factors that influence the size and direction of a statistic.  Each of the four letters in CARE stand for a kind of influence on the size of a statistic: Context (comparisons, ratios, study design and confounding), Assembly (how statistics are defined and presented), Randomness (chance, margin of error and statistical significance) and Error or bias.  The bulk of the book is spent on the first two types of influence.


The goal of the text is to help readers evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in statistics that are used as evidence in everyday arguments.  These statistics include government-generated statistics: country-wide statistics (c.f., US Statistical Abstract), education statistics (c.f.,  National Assessment of Educational Progress) and health statistics (c.f., Center for Disease Control).


This text is quite different.  Instead of algebra, it uses ordinary English to describe and compare counts, measures and conditional probabilities.  It focuses on reading and interpreting statistics presented in tables and graphs.  It present a new graphical technique to show how a factor is "taken in account" or "controlled for."  It requires "hypothetical thinking" for students to imagine how things might have been defined, measured, compared or presented differently.  It requires hypothetical thinking for students to imagine plausible confounders for observed associations.


2016: Augsburg Student Evaluations of STAT 102  by Milo Schield   ASA/JSM    Course Comparison: STAT102 vs STAT 101

Schield's "Statistical Literacy 2011" (Fifth Edition)

CONTENTS   For chapter overview, download both audio and 6up overview. Play audio while watching the overview.

Contents: 407 pages, 118,363 words.  588,535 characters. 
37 equations, 54 stories, 96 tables, 152 figures. Glossary 151 terms

This book was based on research findings of the W. M. Keck Statistical Literacy Project.
For an overview, see Isaacson's "Statistical Literacy -- Online at Capella University."
For an overview of the conceptual design, see Schield's "Statistical Literacy and Liberal Education at Augsburg College."
For a briefing on the "Take CARE" methodology, see "Take CARE"
For a review of the technical aspects, see Schield's Statistical Literacy Curriculum Design.
For a review of difficulties in reading tables and graphs, see Schield's "Statistical Literacy Survey: Reading Tables and Graphs."
For papers on teaching confounding using the new graphical technique, see:

For papers on teaching the social construction of statistics, see:

Order Status: 
The first editions are limited distribution editions used primarily for teaching while developing the associated assignments and quizzes. The 5th edition (2011) is updated to go with the more than 1,000 Moodle exercises that are available to teachers that use this book.

Statistical Literacy at Augsburg College: GST 200

Over a Hundred Topics (Over a Thousand Problems):
As Lynn Steen noted, "concept" QL courses tend to be light on exercises.  Over 130 homework topics involving right-wrong exercises have been identified for this book.  More than a hundred of these topics have been implemented in Moodle as multiple choice quizzes with over a thousand problems.  Having right-wrong exercises online gives students immediate feedback, eliminates the need for instructor grading, minimizes the class time needed to review these topics, and allows the instructor to see which kinds of exercises are giving the students the most difficulty. Here is a current list of the class-room tested, Moodle-based, right-wrong exercises.


Web-based Part-Whole Drill Programs:
Videos describing: (1) the part-whole reading program,  (2) the part-whole writing program.

The part-whole reading drill program has 186 problems. 131 descriptions, 43 common-part comparisons and 12 distinct part comparisons.
The writing drill program currently has 301 problems:  6 chance-related, 266 tables, 14 bar graphs and 15 pie charts.
The most recent upgrade was to add chance/probability grammar to both programs.

Odysseys2Sense: a game of lively discourse
Odysseys (a unique web forum) is used to facilitate critical thinking.   See this under Statistical Literacy tools.  Fall 2012 Challenges
Student survey:  Spring 2013   Fall 2013.  Advice to reviewers:  References    Huemer


Dr. Milo Schield is Director of the W. M. Keck Statistical Literacy Project and a professor in Business Administration at Augsburg College.  He received his Ph.D. from Rice University. 


In 2001, the W. M. Keck Foundation awarded Augsburg College a grant to develop statistical literacy "as an interdisciplinary curriculum in the liberal arts." In 2004, the AACU's Peer Review magazine featured Milo's essay, "Statistical Literacy and Liberal education at Augsburg College."


"A small educational movement advocating statistical literacy has emerged. Professor Milo Schield, Director of the W. M. Keck Statistical Literacy Project, at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, is the movement's leading voice." Dr. Joel Best, author of More Damned Lies and Statistics.

Statistical Literacy Textbook (2016)

Textbook design:


As of 2016, Dr. Milo Schield is:                           Augsburg Home-page1    Home-page2

  • Professor of Business Administration at Augsburg College.   Statistical Literacy at Augsburg (2016)

  • Elected member of the International Statistical Institute (ISI)

  • US Representative of the International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP)

  • Vice President and Past-Board Member of the National Numeracy Network (NNN)

  • Editor of

  • Past-President of the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Statistical Association (ASA)

  • Director of the W. M. Keck Statistical Literacy Project

Schield papers chronologically  CV   Bios (2016, 2012Talks by Location   JSM Sessions   SERJ    2016 Augsburg News

Research-Gate Summary   RG Schield Citations   RG Schield Citations by paper   RG Citations Statistical Educators

2015: Wiley Textbook proposal: "Practical Statistics for Professionals"   RSS Proposal.

2015: NNN Candidate for Vice President    ASA Section on Statistical Education Board Member (at large) CV

2015: USCOTS Lifetime Achievement award.  Nomination letter    Complete packet

2015: Judea Pearl Causality Prize.  Nomination packet.

2015: USCOTS Schield AIDS video  Statisticians make life better  960x720 (3.5mb).   Text     Slides: 6up  1up


2001: W. M. Keck Statistical Literacy Grant to Augsburg College (2001-2005):

Goal: "To Develop Statistical Literacy as an Interdisciplinary Curriculum in the Liberal Arts"

Principal Investigator: Milo Schield    W. M. Keck Foundation Goals poster (2002)      Statistical Literacy Header (2001)

Other Materials:
2A.  The W. M. Keck Statistical Literacy Course at Augsburg: An Overview


Comments by Hulsizer and Woolf (2009) on page 63 in A Guide to Teaching Statistics: Innovations and Best Practices."

Milo Schield (2005), Director of the W. M. Keck Statistical Literacy Project, argued that instructors have the responsibility to not only teach basic statistical competence, but to become "evangelists" for statistical literacy.  He argued that we should develop introductory statistics courses that attract students because students find the material enjoyable and beneficial.  To foster statistical literacy, teachers and students must discuss and argue everyday, real-world examples of statistics from the media, news, and journal studies.  As a results, the ultimate course evaluation should consist of measuring students' "appreciation for the value of statistics in everyday life" (p 4.)  
Schield, M (2005). Statistical Literacy: An Evangelical Calling for Statistical Educators, 2005 ISI. See

2006 Augsburg NOW: Business Department is International



2011: Milo Schield installed as member of the ISI:
At the 21st conference of the International Statistical Institute (ISI), Dr. Milo Schield was elected as one of 56 new members.  At the inaugural reception in Dublin Ireland, Milo is shown with Ron Wasserstein (ASA Director), with Dr. A. John Bailar (ISI Membership Elections Committee chair) and with Cynthia Schield (his wife).  



Conceptual Literacy and Induction:

Schield, Milo (2004): Resolving Three Key Problems in the Humanities.  New Directions in the Humanities, Prato Italy.

Schield, Milo (2005). Making Science a Core Liberal Art for the 21st Century. Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL)

Schield, Milo (2008). Proposal for the Batalden Faculty Scholar Program at Augsburg College.   Internal memo.

Schield, Milo (2009): Promoting Objectivity in Science and Ethics, 6up ;   Statistical Literacy & Liberal Education 6up.   FreeMinds Las Vegas.

   Audio of this talk at 2009 FreeMinds by Schield: Track1, Track2, Track3, Track4, Track5, Track6.

Schield, Milo (2016): Excerpts from "What Should [College] Graduates Know? by Nickolas Lemann, Columbia Dean Emeritus.
Schield, Milo (2010): Seminar.  Part 1:  Induction in Science 6up    Part 2: Young-Earth Creationism 6up   Part 3: Induction in Philosophy 

Schield, Milo (2014): Critical Thinking: Present, Past & Future.  St. Paul Critical Thinking Club.  CTC1 slides    CTC2 slides

Schield, Milo (1993): Summary of Lewis Carroll's Symbolic Logic (1896).

Schield, Milo (1993): Analysis of Consciousness.  Augsburg Philosophy Seminar.

Schield, Milo (1991): Summary  of Fisher-Houde Handbook of Logic (1954).


Induction Revisited: Recommended readings:  



Augsburg College:

2015: Augsburg's Above-Average Value-Added Education, Faculty Meeting Augsburg College   PPTX

2008: Statistical Literacy (GST 200) as a QR "Quantitative Applications" (QA) Course with project, 2008 Augsburg College

2007: Statistical Literacy (GST 200) as a QR "Quantitative foundations" (QF) Course, 2007 Augsburg College

2000: Application for Promotion.  Augsburg College

2000: Proposal for a Business Leadership concentration in the Master of Arts in Leadership program

1999: Sabbatical Application.  Augsburg College

1997: Philosophical Issues in Statistical Inference.  Augsburg College.  11/2007

  $300 for Online course


Space Physics:

1968: PhD Dissertation: The Configuration of Geomagnetic Field Lines above the Auroral Zones, Rice University. Alexander Dessler, Advisor

1969: Pressure Balance Between Solar Wind and Magnetosphere.  Journal of Geophysical Research. Vol 74, No 5. p 1275-1286. Correction.

1969: A Source for Field-Aligned Currents at Auroral Latitudes. M. Schield, J. W. Freeman and A. Dessler. JGR Vol 74 No 1. p. 247-256

1970: Electron Observations between Inner-Edge of the Plasma Sheet & the Magnetosphere. M. Schield & L. Frank. JGR 75,128. 5401-5414

Personal: Performing, Family and Teachers

PERFORMING Alive & Kicking:

2016 The Sixties.      Milo voice, song.   Cynthia voice, song.   Milo & Cynthia Schield 2016 performance.

2014 Making History. Milo's A&K AIDs story (audio).  One Sweet Day.
     Prescott Journal article:  A&K:  Prescott Singing Coach Trains Two for Bloomington Center Production (pdf)  

2012 Alive & Kickin show:  Cast   2011 Minn. State Capital2011 Always Look on Bright Side. 
    2012 Love is Alive Trailer #1.      2012 Love is Alive Trailer #2.
    2012 Star Tribune Grace Royden Review.      2012 Star Tribune Pictures: Cynthia singing.


SCHIELD BANTAM: Wilbur and Vern Schield



Brochure:  Chronicles of Fred and Emma Schield’s Family: Focus on Wilbur and Vern Schield and Schield Bantam Co   1997





McKelvey Homestead, Donegal Ireland.       Eileen McKelvey: Her Early Years (in five parts): A, B, C, D and E. ALL (25mb)

Eileen English composition: Somerset Magham 1934.          Rocky Grove High School news "Rock Talk" May 1935  Color   Gray-OCR
Pedigree:   Eileen McKelvey Schield 1918-2007.  Alexander Thomas Rowe 1874-1967.  Eileen Bernice McKelvey Schield: Memorial

AT Rowe: 1913 Workers Journal. 1927 Dwight L. Moody: The Soul Winner. 1927 Ideals for Earnest Youth.   1944 Ideals for Christian Service.

AT Rowe: 1943  Tommie Rowe    Vertical P1-10Landscape P10-53         1997 Cecil Byrd Obituary (AT Rowe's wife's brother)

Clyde E. Rowe books: 1937 Business and Professional Typewriting co-author with Korona.  1943 Writing Infrequently-Used Words in Shorthand.


Flickinger (Waverly, Iowa math teacher)      AA: Let's Keep it Simple by Bob  Hickle (1980, Waverly, Iowa)

Pedigree: Cynthia Kingston-Schield 1940-Now      Sarah Stats 1835-1895

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