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The phrase 'statistical literacy' has been used for many years.  The pictures shown on this page are of four key authors in the early history of statistical literacy.  In 1951 Helen Walker (left below) wrote Statistical Literacy in the Social Sciences.  In 1979, Dennis Haack (centered below) wrote a textbook titled Statistical Literacy.   In 1993 Katherine Wallman (pictured above) wrote Enhancing Statistical Literacy: Enriching Our Society.  Iddo Gal (right below) has written numerous papers on statistical literacy (1995, 1997, 1999, etc.).


This page presents references to and excerpts from books and articles that were published during or before 2000 and that used the phrase "statistical literacy" or "quantitative literacy."  PDF


Books that used "Statistical literacy" in the title.

  • 1979: Statistical Literacy by Dennis Haack.   The phrase "statistical literacy" does not appear anywhere in the text of this book.

Books that used "Statistical literacy" in the text but not in the title.

  • 1962: "Chapter 5 The Data: Knowns and Unknowns" in Growth of Industrial Production in the Soviet Union published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, p. 13. "They [the statistics for any country] contain, in the second place, errors introduced at different stages of observation and assemblage. These will depend on the state of statistical literacy among the collectors and suppliers of data, on the effort expended on record-keeping, and on the degree of active competition in gathering and analyzing data.

  • 1968: ARNOLD, MAGDA B. (Ed.). The Nature of Emotion: Selected Readings.  D BANNISTER - 1969 - Wiley Online Library  "... compactly in these 90 pages. The advice is realistic - on the indispensability of statistical literacy, on the right of schools to insist, despite research demands, on getting on with the job of educating children. The warnings are wise ..."

  • 1978: How to Use (And Misuse) Statistics by Gregory A. Kimble; Prentice-Hall.  "What I want you to come away with is an appreciation of a style of thought and a respectable level of statistical literacy. I see no necessity, with these as my objectives, to dwell on formulas and computations."

  • 1979: A Basic Course in Statistics. By GM CLARKE and D. COOKE. Edward Arnold, 1978. Wiley Online Library ... . "The author's aim is to give the reader 'an appreciation of a style of thought and a respectable level of statistical literacy'. He adds, 'I see no necessity, with these as my objectives, to dwell on formulas and computations'. ..."  *** 1978 and 1979 have same comment ***

  • 1991: Quantitative Methods for Historians: A Guide to Research, Data, and Statistics by Konrad H. Jarausch, Kenneth A. Hardy; University of North Carolina Press.  "In attempting to meet the distinctive needs of methodological context, computer experience, and statistical literacy, this book seeks to render research design transparent, to help with establishing data bases, and to provide... "

  • 1992: Understanding Social Science Statistics: A Spreadsheet Approach by Roger P. Bakeman; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.  "I assume that your goal is basic statistical literacy -- the ability to understand and critique the statistical analyses others perform, and the ability to proceed... "

  • 1997: The Assessment Challenge in Statistics Education. Edited by Iddo Gal and Joan B. Garfield.  Excerpt: "Goal 1: Understand the purpose and logic of statistical investigations. Goal 2: Understand the process of statistical investigations. Goal 3: Master procedural skills.  Goal 4: Understand mathematical relationships.  Goal 5: Understand probability and chance.  Goal 6: Develop interpretive skills and statistical literacy. Goal 7: Develop [the] ability to communicate statistically.  Goal 8: Develop useful statistical dispositions." (pp. 3-5) **Verify quote**

  • 1998: Reflections on Statistics: Learning, Teaching, and Assessment in Grades K-12 Book by Susanne P. Lajoie; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. "and their views of statistical literacy. One of the outcomes of this...possible to increase our overall statistical literacy ..."  "thereby promoting the notion of statistical literacy."

  • 1999: Improving Statistical Reasoning: Theoretical Models and Practical Implications by Peter Sedlmeier; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.  "Statistical literacy, the art of drawing reasonable inferences from an abundance of numbers provided daily by the media, is indispensable..."

  • 1999  Seeing Through Statistics by Jessica M Utts, Duxbury.   "the use of statistical methods In the real world. While the approach Is nontraditional, I feel confident that the successful use of this text would result in a high degree of statistical literacy. Not only does it enable the student to ..."

  • 2004: More Damned Lies and Statistics: How Numbers Confuse Public Issues by Joel Best; University of California Press.  "Shouldn't we be able to teach "statistical literacy"-basic skills for critically interpreting the sorts of statistics we encounter in everyday life?"    "what if we call statistical literacy a basic skill? Certainly a plausible argument exists for considering it in these terms. After all, we are talking about teaching people to be more critical, to be more thoughtful about what they read in the newspaper or watch in a news broadcast, to ask questions about claims from scientists, politicians, or activists. Being better able to assess such claims is certainly valuable; we might even argue that it is fundamental to being an informed citizen. Why not consider statistical literacy a basic skill?"   "Statistical literacy falls between the stools on which academic departments perch." "The lessons involved in teaching statistical literacy are not so terribly difficulty; rather, the difficulty lies in finding someone willing to teach them."   "In short, it may be true that "everyone" agrees that improving statistical literacy is desirable, but it isn't clear that they can agree on what statistical literacy means, what improving it might involve, or what the consequences of this improvement might be."


Articles that used "Statistical literacy" in the title.

  • 1951: Statistical Literacy in the Social Sciences by Helen M. Walker. The American Statistician Vol. 5, No. 1 (Feb., 1951), pp. 6-12. Excerpts: "definitions of verbal literacy may give us some useful clues as to the meaning of statistical literacy." "The ideas which the modern citizen must understand are becoming more complicated and many of them cannot be grasped without some degree of statistical as well as verbal literacy."  "In the same way that complete verbal illiteracy is a stone around a man's neck making it impossible for him to pursue a skilled trade or to rise to a position of leadership among his fellows, even so does complete statistical illiteracy hamper a man in many vocations, interfere with the wise conduct of many of his personal affairs and drastically curtail his understanding of social issues." "To a very striking degree our culture has become a statistical culture. Yet the level of statistical literacy among the practitioners of the social sciences is appallingly low. To bridge the gap in the system of communication between statistician and social scientist, substantial improvement is necessary in the social scientists' ability to use quantitative language."  "One reason why the students of Social Studies do not make more rapid progress toward statistical literacy is that their statistical experiences are too largely limited to the courses in which they study statistics. They need to read more statistical material in their other courses." "The computational skills of our field [statistics] can be acquired in a fairly short time. Judgment, the ability to interpret, the clarification of concepts and the ability to plan a survey or an experiment are of slower growth.  Consequently the one-semester introductory course in which students learn a variety of computations will inevitably turn out a large number of semi-literates."  "Sometimes a reader's disability comes from carrying over into statistical reading the habits of very rapid skimming which he has found to be an asset in reading purely verbal material. Those of us who teach first courses in statistics may be able to suggest to our students that they learn how and when to change gears."   [Helen M. Walker:  1 Dec 1891 to 15 Jan 1983]

  • 1979: Teaching Statistical Literacy by Dennis Haack, Teaching Statistics, 1, 74-76. Abstract: "More people have to read and understand others’ statistics than have to carry out their own statistical research. A first course in statistics should therefore concentrate on statistics as a language."  Text: "A first course in statistics should teach statistics as a language rather than as a research tool.  Emphasis should be on interpreting statistics rather than on calculating statistics." 

  • 1980: A Note on 'Teaching Statistical Literacy' by Dennis Haack, Teaching Statistics, 2, 22-23.   Abstract: "In his previous article Dennis Haack discussed the philosophy behind his course in teaching statistics as a language. Here he looks at some ways of assessing students taking such a course."

  • 1980: Social Indicators and Statistical Literacy by JE Miller - Social Studies. 71:5 (1980:Sept./Oct.) 226.   See    Abstract: Maintaining that people in modern society stand in need of statistical literacy, the article explains why education needs to provide this kind of literacy and evaluates the degree to which education to date has been successful in achieving its statistical literacy..."

  • 1981: Questioning strategies and sample problems for a course in statistical literacy by Eleanor Jordan, ASA Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education, 103-108. 
    1981: Teaching Statistical Literacy to Nurses by Dennis HaackASA Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education, 101-102.

  • 1983: Statistical Literacy by Mike Perry, ASA Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education, 92-96.  "A definition of "Statistical Literacy" should include statistical thinking and communicating statistically.  "Statistical thinking" requires dealing with ambiguities and open ended situations. This is a significant leap for the student from the methodological processing of algebra. It is one of the characteristics of the subject which distinguishes it from being "just another math course." The nurturing (teaching?) of "statistical thinking" must be an objective of the introductory course."

  • 1990: Statistical Literacy in the Community. An invited session at ICOTS-3.  Invited papers:  "Statistics for All: Why, What, and How?" by David Moore (USA) p. 414-415 and p. 423-428.   "Statistics in China" by Liang Zhishun (Guangzhou, China) p. 416-422.  Also "The Role of Statistics in Achieving Numeracy for All" by Jean Thompson (Wellington, New Zealand) p. 429-432.  Panel discussion: Professor Paul Bungartz of Bonn University, Germany; Professor Toby Lewis, retired from the Open University, England; and Professor Jagdish Rustagi of the Ohio State University, USA.

  • 1990:  "The Role of Statistics in Achieving Numeracy for All" by Jean Thompson (Wellington, New Zealand) p. 429-432.  "Our society accepts the fact that the quest for literacy - learning to read and write - is a crucial element of education and I certainly do not argue with that. What I do argue is that we need more than literacy. We live in an age when qualitative understanding is not enough. Numbers and measures are everywhere. We need numeracy together with literacy as joint crucial elements of education for the 21st century." "Why is literacy accepted as a basic requirement to progress in every subject area? Because it is acknowledged as important for all. Gaining literacy skills is expected. Small children are told reading is fun, reading is good, reading gives you information. Then these facts are demonstrated and constantly re-iterated and indeed embedded into the entire learning process. Now use the parallel of learning to read and write for teaching numeracy skills. We need to expect our children to grasp numeracy skills. We need to demonstrate and constantly re-iterate and indeed ensure that numeracy is embedded into the entire learning process."  "To achieve this embedding, and so have the opportunity to demonstrate and reiterate, I suggest we use Statistics. Statistics is the collection, arrangement and interpretation of numerical facts or data. Here we have the ideal vehicle for this transformation, the means by which we can demonstrate the relevance of numeracy skills instead of just calling for them. Note here that I am not talking about theoretical statistics, but about the sensible use of numbers, the use of display techniques such as graphs and charts, and the extraction of information from numbers. These ideas can and should be applied in all subject areas. This is how we can make sure our material is constantly linked to real situations. However, rather than taking situations out of other subject areas and carrying them into the mathematics and/or statistics lessons, how about taking basic statistical tools into the fabric of all school activities?"

  • 1992: ASA Session: Improving Statistical Literacy: Classroom, Community, and Consulting Issues. Chair/Organizer: Gwyneth Boodoo, Educational Testing Service
             Conceptualizing applied statistics: A current need by Sharon L. Weinberg in the 1993 ASA Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education, 233-238.
             Improving Statistical Literacy among consultants and clients, Patricia Busk, 1993 ASA Proceedings Section Statistical Education, 239-246.
             Statistical Literacy for whom: The case of the two-year colleges by Miriam Grosof & Hyman Sardy, 1993 Proceedings Statistical Education, 247-253.
             Comment on "Improving Statistical Literacy" by Juliet Shaffer, 1993 ASA Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education, 254-257.

  • 1993: Enhancing Statistical Literacy: Enriching Our Society by Katherine K. Wallman. Journal of the American Statistical Association Vol. 88, No. 421 (Mar., 1993), pp. 1-8. Excerpts [bold added]: P. 1, "my hope that by enhancing statistical literacy, we may succeed in enriching our society."  "My aims are ... to highlight some avenues we can pursue to enhance our citizens' statistical literacy."  "As I gathered and read materials on 'statistical literacy' from many sources, the diversity of views I encountered mirrored the breadth of perspectives our colleagues within and outside the statistics profession bring to this subject.  The perspective I offer is this: Statistical literacy is the ability to understand and critically evaluate statistical results that permeate our daily lives -- coupled with the ability to appreciate the contributions that statistical thinking can make in public and private, professional and personal decisions."  "These mis-es [misunderstandings, misperceptions, mistrust and misgivings], I contend, are rooted in society's lack of statistical literacy."  P. 3, "As a society we face many issues.  These ... difficult problems stand to benefit from the contributions that statisticians can make to our understanding, and from increased statistical literacy from both policy makers and the public."  "There are among those responsible for the education of our citizens many who fully understand the importance of promoting statistical literacy.  I think of Dean Hubbard, President of Northwestern State University, who is working to establish a "statistics for the common man" course as a requirement of the university's core undergraduate curriculum."  "The lack of statistical literacy extends as well to industrial settings."   P. 4, "Most vexing of all is the problem faced by our citizens, who encounter statistics at every turn in their daily lives, yet often are unequipped with the statistical literacy required to evaluate the situation."  "Numerous pathways, some already being traveled, others awaiting our footsteps, may be taken as we work both within the ASA and with colleagues in other disciplines and professions to enhance our citizens' statistical literacy."  P. 6, "To advance our citizens' statistical literacy, I would advocate further development of clear, simple, meaningful terminology and notation that could be promoted and used by our popular media in their reporting of statistical information."  P. 7., "Those of you who are out in the real world are in the best position to inform the fundamental question, "How can statistics be of use to our citizens?"   You will be the key to working with the popular media -- and thus enhancing our citizens' statistical literacy."  "A major theme of his address [Peter Moore's 1990 RSS Presidential address], as I read it, is that we must educate the consumer -- and the potential consumer -- to better understand statistics and more fundamentally [to understand] statistical thinking -- [and] to add statistical literacy to his or her skills. (Moore, 1990)"   "If we wish to continue to heed the mandate of our founders -- "to be of service to science and society" --  we must heed the needs of customers both in our professional society -- the ASA -- and in the larger society we seek to serve -- our customers in government and industry, whether they are on the front line or in the computer room; our customers in the education system, whether they are college presidents or classroom teachers or students; and our customers in the media, who most often bring our work to the ultimate customers -- our fellow citizens.  It is these audiences to whom we must bring statistical literacy -- and those audiences will determine whether statistical thinking makes a difference in their personal and professional pursuits."     P. 8, "As we endeavor to to enhance statistical literacy, I believe we will enrich both our professional society -- the American Statistical Association -- and the society in which we live."

  • 1995: Statistical Tools and Statistical Literacy: The Case of the Average by Iddo Gal, Teaching Statistics,17, 97-99."the teaching of statistics is often justified by referring to demands on citizens and consumers who live in an information society" but mostly require "students to compute rather than interpret …. This may not be sufficient to develop students' statistical literacy skills and make sure they can come up with reasonable interpretations of statistical statements and arguments encountered in newspaper articles, TV news, advertisements, or on the job." "The range and fragility of student responses and the diversity of existing knowledge gaps suggest the need to broaden the content of percent instruction beyond computation. many students are likely to leave school with an incomplete conceptual understanding and computational knowledge of percent, as well as with insufficient preparation for using or understanding the use of percents in the real world." Published online in 2007.
    1995: Statistical literacy: A link between mathematics and society by Jane Watson. In A. Richards, G. Gillman, K. Milton, & J. Oliver (Eds.), Flair: Forging links and integrating resources (pp. 12-28). Adelaide, SA: Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers
    . Reprinted in Reflections, 20(3), 36-45, August, 1995. 

  • 1997: The Need for Statistical Literacy in Australia  by Jane Watson Science News

  • 1998: Fedstats promotes Statistical Literacy.  Cathryn Dippo.  Communications of the ACM; Apr98 Vol 41 Issue 4, p58-60.  Abstract: "The major statistical agencies of the federal government in the U.S. have created a publicly accessible digital library called FedStats."   Body: "promotes knowledge discovery through statistics and improved statistical literacy, extensive research and development efforts are needed to address not only the technical issues …"
    1998: Statistical literacy: What's the chance?  by Jane Watson in Reflections 23,6-14.
    1998: Statistical Literacy and Statistical Competence by David Moore, MSMESB Univ. Iowa.  Abstract only. "Educated people face a new environment at century's end: work is becoming intellectualized, formal higher education more common, technology almost universal, and information (as well as mis- and dis-information) a flood. In this setting, what is statistical literacy , what every educated person should know? What is statistical competence, roughly the content of a first course for those who must deal with data in their work? One might define competence as what we hope a business statistics student will retain five years later."
    1998: Statistical Literacy -- Statistics Long After School by Jerry Moreno, ICOTS-5.
    1998: Assessing statistical literacy through the use of media surveys  Jane Watson ICOTS-5
    1998: Statistical Literacy And Adolescent Risk by Jonathan Moritz, ICOTS-5.
    1998: Statistical Literacy For Law Students: Six Hours To Teach! by Anne Porter.  ICOTS-5.
    1998: Stumbling Blocks On The Road Towards Statistical Literacy by Herman Callaert.  ICOTS-5.
    1998: Statistical Literacy and Evidential Statistics by Milo Schield.  ASA Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education, 187-192.  "To achieve statistical literacy for all, introductory statistics must be expanded to include evidential statistics– the use of statistics as evidence in arguments involving practical reasoning about causality."

  • 1999: Teaching Statistical Literacy by Peggy B. Cerrito (U. Ky) College Teaching; v47, n1 p9-13 Win 1999.   Eric Abstract: "Argues that statistical literacy is a necessary component of a complete college education and important in combating growing innumeracy in American society, and describes a general education course at the University of Louisville (Kentucky) that includes it. Instruction focuses on societal issues, sometimes controversial, for which an understanding of statistics and their use is crucial."   Extracts: "Statistical literacy is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity."  "The public can be duped by almost anyone capable of spouting numbers, percents and p-values."  "How can statistical literacy be taught effectively? ... It must be introduced into a general education course."  For-pay download at Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group
    1999: Statistical literacy: Conceptual and instructional issues by Iddo Gal. Chapter 8 in Perspectives on Adults Learning Mathematics 
    1999: Conceptualizing statistical literacy: An assessment perspective by Iddo Gal at SRTL-1.
    1999: Using Chance Media to promote Statistical Literacy by J. Laurie Snell, ASA.
    1999: The dissemination of statistical literacy among citizens and public administration directors by Luigi Biggeri and Alberto Zuliani.  ISI-52.
    1999: Statistical Literacy: Thinking Critically About Statistics by Milo Schield. 1999 APDU Of Significance. Vol 1, No 1. P. 15-20.  Abstract: "Statistical literacy is the ability to read and interpret data: the ability to use statistics as evidence in arguments. Statistical literacy is a competency: the ability to think critically about statistics. This introduction defines statistical literacy as a science of method, compares statistical literacy with traditional statistics and reviews some of the elements in reading and interpreting statistics. It gives more emphasis to observational studies than to experiments and thus to using associations to support claims about causation."

  • 2000: Statistical literacy: Conceptual and instructional issues by Iddo Gal in D. Coben, J. O'Donoghue, & G. FitzSimons, (Eds.), Perspectives on Adults Learning Mathematics (pp. 135-150). London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    2000: Statistical Literacy and Mathematical Reasoning by Milo Schield.  International Conference on Mathematics Education (ICME-9), Tokyo. Abstract extract: "Statistical Literacy, the study of statistics as evidence in arguments, is proposed as a new course – a bridging course to better prepare students for the traditional statistics course. Statistical Literacy can also be a stand-alone course with its focus on observational studies and confounding factors. The mathematics involved in statistical inference of traditional statistics are reviewed. Causes of student difficulties are located in two areas: conditional probability and the relation between chance and confounding. These two problems are related to two areas of mathematical thinking: conditional thinking and contextual thinking. A statistical literacy course designed to remedy these deficiencies is proposed."

  • 2001: Statistical Literacy: Reading Tables of Rates and Percentages by Milo Schield. ASA Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education, ??-??.
    2001: Statistical Literacy and Statistical Competence by David Moore, IASE slides  [No definitions Ed.]
    2001: Statistics Literacy  by Brian Phillips, IASE slides

  • 2002: Adults' Statistical literacy: Meaning, components, responsibilities by Iddo Gal, International Statistical Review 70(1), 1-25."Statistical literacy is a key ability expected of citizens in information-laden societies, and is often touted as an expected outcome of schooling and as a necessary component of adults' numeracy and literacy."
    2002: Developing statistical literacy: Towards implementing change by Iddo Gal. International Statistical Review, 70(1), 46-51.
    2002: Preparing for Diversity in Statistics Literacy: Institutional and Educational Implications by Scott Murray and Iddo Gal. ICOTS-6.
    2002: Towards a Statistically Literate Society: What Statistics Everyone Should Know by Jerry Moreno, ICOTS-6.
    2002: Promoting Statistical Literacy: A South African Perspective by P. Lehohla, ICOTS-6.
    2002: Three Kinds of Statistical Literacy: What Should We Teach? by Milo Schield, ICOTS-6.
    2002: Promoting Statistics Literacy: New Opportunities for the Training of Institutional Research Professionals by Linda Hewitt. ICOTS-6.
    2002: Statistical Literacy and the Media by W. Martin Podehl, ICOTS-6.

  • 2003: Expanding conceptions of statistical literacy: An analysis of products from statistics agencies by Iddo Gal. Statistics Education Research Journal. 2(1), 3-22. (Electronic refereed journal:
    2003: Teaching for statistical literacy and services of statistics agencies by Iddo Gal, The American Statistician, 57(2), 80-84. "Teaching for statistical literacy and services of statistics agencies...interrelated concepts such as statistical literacy (Wallman 1993), quantitative...ability will be termed here "statistical literacy following an early use of this... "

Articles that used "Statistical literacy" in the text but not in the title and not as a reference.

  • 1940: Statistical Trends by William Fielding Ogburn.  Journal of the American Statistical Association Vol. 35, No. 209, Part 2: [Proceedings of the Centenary Celebration] (Mar., 1940), pp. 252-260.  Excerpt: "In the early days when statistical literacy was low, those who could read and write this new language were set off and apart from the others.  They were labeled statisticians.  But now most any social scientist can compute a correlation coefficient and can read and write the statistical language to some extent.  Indeed, the arithmetics for eighth grade in the public schools now have sections on statistics.  So a degree of statistical literacy will be universal in the future since 100% of the children go to the elementary school and 65% to the high schools."

  • 1943:  Statistics—The Mathematics for Social Problems.  Douglas Scates - The Mathematics Teacher.    "... work while we are attempting the far larger and more universally important task of training citizens. Our selection of objectives for a high school course in statistics will be guided accordingly. Three objectives seem to stand out prominently: 1. To produce statistical literacy. ... "  "the ability to read diagrams and maps; a 'consumer' understanding of common statistical terms, as average, per cent, dispersion, correlation, and index number."

  • 1945: Paper review by Helen M. Walker (Colombia Univ.).  "In 1942, at the Second Institute for Teachers of Elementary and Secondary Mathematics held at Duke University over a period of 10 days, Douglas Scates gave a series of lectures on this theme, one of which was later printed under the title "Statistics-the Mathematics for Social Problems," in 'the Mathematics Teacher, February 1943. This paper should be read and pondered by anyone who proposes either to teach statistics or to develop teaching materials for high school students. He considers the goals of such teaching to be: (a) to produce statistical literacy, (b) to accustom young people to doing their thinking about personal and social problems in terms of quantitative facts wherever appropriate, and (c) to familiarize young people with the processes of gathering data, and the elementary modes of' interpreting them. Only for students of more than average ability who have an intrinsic interest in the manipulation of figures, would he suggest as a fourth objective some technical skill in calculating and drawing diagrams."  JASA 40:231, 377-415.

  • 1949: Goethe's View of Law-With a Gloss Out of Plato.  EN Cahn - Colum. L. Rev. - HeinOnline    "Statistical literacy, of course, means very little in this connection: people who have to move their lips in order to read, though statistically literate, are infrequently observed with either Plato or Goethe in their hands."

  • 1950: ASA JSM Session: Statistical Literacy in the Social Sciences, Section on the Training of statisticians. Speaker: Helen M. Walker, Colombia University.   Chairman: Philip M. Hauser, University of Chicago.  The American Statistician, 4:4,9-18, DOI: 10.1080/00031305.1950.10501650

  • 1962: Statistics We Live By by Martin R. Gainsbrugh. Journal of the American Statistical Association Vol. 57, No. 297 (Mar., 1962), pp. 1-9.  Excerpts: "In our rush to develop and articulate the framework of economic intelligence, we have been too quick to assume a higher level of statistical literacy and of general public understanding than the facts warrant.  Many texts, perhaps too many, are now devoted to the fields of statistical techniques, sampling procedures and the impressive mathematical contributions of the last quarter century from which the statistician has so richly benefitted. Few, indeed, are the contributions dedicated to placing before the lay consumer the descriptive, qualitative, conceptual materials that are prerequisites to assure an adequate understanding of the statistics we live by."  "Even the sophisticated user of [economic and social] accounts knows there is no easy path through the jungle of descriptive literature in which are hidden the details on weighting, classification, conventions, imputations, and the myriad qualifications with which each key statistic is surrounded." "The data we compile has never been more universally followed than they now are.  Each of us can wrestle with his own conscience in replying to the inevitable corollary to such an observation: Are they better and more widely understood?"  

  • 1962: Statistics in Army Research Development and Testing by Clifford J. Maloney.  The American Statistician Vol. 16, No. 3 (Jun., 1962), pp. 13-17.  Excerpt: P. 14, "Primary responsibility for the adequacy of the Army's utilization of statistical principles rests with this group, but the task would be overwhelming in the absence of a high degree of 'statistical literacy' on the part of the R&D personnel whose specialties lie in other directions and on a corps of contractor personnel and part-time expert consultants -- usually academic."

  • 1965: The Concept of Panchayati Raj and Its Institutional Implications in India by Iqbal Narain.   Asian Survey Vol. 5, No. 9 (Sep., 1965), pp. 456-466.  Excerpt: P. 463, "Related to this [our professed goal of a socialist society] is the role education (as opposed to mere statistical literacy) is to play in enriching the content of rural democracy in participatory terms."  

  • 1967: Subjective Aspects of Applied Statistics by A. F. Bissell.  The Statistician Vol. 17, No. 4 (1967), pp. 385-400. Excerpts: P. 392, "One must avoid the allure of PIPE: Plausible, intuitive, and Probably Erroneous."  P. 396, "The results of an analysis may be misinterpreted by the client unless guidance is given....  There is probably no universal escape from this dilemma -- the solution must be adapted to the particular problem, and to the statistical literacy of the client."

  • 1967: Ideologies and Attitudes, Academic and Judicial by Glendon Schubert.  The Journal of Politics Vol. 29, No. 1 (Feb., 1967), pp. 3-40.  Excerpts: P. 11, "Academic ideologies tend to determine academic attitudes toward the study of judicial attitudes.  Attitudinal differences imply differing choices among such core components of academic attitudes as modes of discourse, logic, statistical literacy, rationality, empiricism, methodology and scientism."  P. 15, "Statistical literacy" -- the title of a section. 

  • 1970: The Dimensions of Comparison, and of Comparative Education by Reginald Edwards.  Comparative Education Review Vol. 14, No. 3, Papers and Proceedings: Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Atlanta Georgia, March 22-24, 1970 (Oct., 1970), pp. 239-254.  Excerpt: P. 253, "In ... the training of educational researchers, D. R. Krathwohl has identified three dimensions, or axes, within which the position of any department of education research could be located.  ... the dimensions for our preparation would not be dissimilar.  The first axis would be mathematical/statistical literacy, the second would be social science background, and the third professional orientation.  The first would require more than just training in statistics. As well as an introduction based on probability theory, a knowledge of matrix algebra, and differential equations is necessary, and there should certainly be some contact with computer programming."

  • 1976:  Issues from the NACOME Report by S Hill. The Mathematics Teacher.  "In technical, business, or social science careers and in a wide range of decision-making situations affecting all citizens, statistical thinking is crucial. We urge all schools and systems to be sure that their students receive statistical literacy in mathematics education. ..."

  • 1976: Essential probabilistics in modelling.  JR Anderson - Agricultural Systems, 1976 - Elsevier   "These questions point to a level of statistical literacy among the modelling fraternity that may in part explain the preponderance of deterministic (ie nonprobabilistic) models. Of course, there is nothing new in the suggestion that stochasticity in models is respectable and proper. ..."

  • 1980: Social data analysis instruction and the MISSIS system.  RE Anderson, KR Krohn… - Behavior Research Methods, Springer  "With regard to the last objective, the most crucial skills are statistical literacy and computer literacy. In order to be productive in contemporary research environments, one must be facile in these functional arenas. ...

  • 1985: "Statistical abuse" cited by Census director. (John G. Keane) by Anita Hess. American Metal Market  93.(Nov 1, 1985): p.p18(1).   From General OneFile. "… the mail recently. The story was meant to promote "statistical literacy," but there seemed to be a hint of indignation in Keane's words. …"

  • 1987:  Buchanan and the Constitutional Bases of Political Decision Making by Vincent Ostrom.  PS Vol. 20, No. 2 (Spring, 1987), pp. 242-246.  Excerpt: P. 245, "We might expect an increase in constitutional literacy to be accompanied by parallel developments in statistical literacy and mathematical literacy.  Constitutional literacy [the reason of rules accompanying the reason of law], if it is to have empirical referents and a computational logics with an empirical warrantability requires application to operational and collective-choice levels of analysis.  Mathematical literacy is important in establishing computational logics; statistical literacy is important in establishing empirical warrantability."

  • 1988: What Should the Introductory Statistics Course Contain? by Gerald J. Hahn.  The College Mathematics Journal Vol. 19, No. 1 (Jan., 1988), pp. 26-29. Excerpt: P. 20, "the general aim of an introductory course in statistics should be to provide some level of statistical literacy, and an appreciation of the role of uncertainty. It should enable students to apply statistical methods in order to obtain and evaluate their own data."  P. 28, "An integral part of the course should be a study: selected, designed, conducted and analyzed by each class member individually -- or in small groups. All this leaves little time for discussions of statistical inference and calculations around which many of our current courses are built (and which are regarded as boring by most non-statisticians)."  "When we do discuss specific inference methods, I strongly advocate interval estimation."  "We must make clear that statistical methods are based on mathematical theory.  Such theory must be part of the foundation in the training of a professional statistician, but it does not belong in a general introductory course."

  • 1989: Graduate Statistics Service Courses in Part-Time Off-Campus Programs by Gabriella M. Belli; William L. Seaver. The American Statistician Vol. 43, No. 2 (May, 1989), pp. 86-90. Excerpt: P. 89, "Recommendations about the need for better textbooks, for computer software that enhances statistical literacy, and for greater use of real data sets ..."

  • 1990: ASA Celebrates Sesquicentennial by Gary G. Koch; Fred C. Leone; Robert L. Mason. The American Statistician Vol. 44, No. 2 (May, 1990), pp. 113-115.  Excerpt: P. 114 "In a session, "A Conversation with Experts, Margaret E. Martin chaired a discussion on the successes and failures in that last 50 years with David R. Cox, W. Edwards Deming, Morris Hanson, C. R. Rao, and  John Tukey.  The successes sited included the increased use of statistical methods and the growth of training programs for statisticians from universities or continuing-education courses.  The primary failures discussed were the insufficient statistical literacy in the general public, and a lack of emphasis on practical problems by education programs in statistics."

  • 1990: The Skills Challenge of the Nineties by Peter G. Moore.  Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (Statistics in Society) Vol. 153, No. 3 (1990), pp. 265-285. Excerpts: "The basics of mathematics, of numeracy, and of what I would call statistical literacy are more easily absorbed by young children than by adults, and that will not change during a person's lifetime."  "What is needed is 'statistics across the curriculum' so that the art of drawing sensible conclusions from uncertain data can be a natural element of the education process."  

  • 1990:  Biostatistical Collaboration in Medical Research by Jonas H. Ellenberg; Peter Armitage; Thomas C. Chalmers; Edmund A. Gehan; Judith R. O'Fallon; Stuart J. Pocock; Marvin Zelen.  Biometrics Vol. 46, No. 1 (Mar., 1990), pp. 1-32.  Excerpt: P. 29, Rejoinder: The biostatistician must be able to deal with the possible confusion or suspicion created by these disagreements [involving medical scientists] in bringing statistical literacy to the public health arena."

  • 1991: An Undergraduate Concentration in Applied Statistics for Mathematics Majors by Marie Gaudard; Gerald J. Hahn.  The American Statistician Vol. 45, No. 2 (May, 1991), pp. 115-120.  Excerpt: P. 116, "The program [the proposed curriculum] should also help students which areas of application appear most attractive.  As indicated, some will be motivated to obtain more in-depth training later in their careers.  Others may eventually move away from statistics, perhaps into the application area itself.  These individuals will bring a high level of statistical literacy to their work."

  • 1991: Improving Doctors' Understanding of Statistics by Douglas G. Altman; J. Martin Bland.  Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (Statistics in Society) Vol. 154, No. 2 (1991), pp. 223-267.  Excerpt: P. 253, "All doctors need to acquire skills in the critical evaluation of the medical literature but a majority of medical graduates are not going to work in a research environment.  Some medical graduates will spend a period in research as an essential part of their career development.  A relatively small number of doctors will remain within the academic environment and will continue to pursue research throughout their career.  It is clear that the statistical literacy required by the three groups [of doctors] are different."

  • 1993: Software Reviews by L. Carl Leinbach. The College Mathematics Journal Vol. 24, No. 3 (May, 1993), pp. 263-270. Excerpt: P. 270, "America is not going to get  a quality education until its managers and workers have some grasp of probability and statistics.  -- the lingua franca of quality. Unfortunately, corporate statistical literacy is abysmally low."

  • 1995: Qualitative Research in Applied Linguistics: A Progress Report by Anne Lazaraton.  TESOL Quarterly Vol. 29, No. 3, Qualitative Research in ESOL (Autumn, 1995), pp. 455-472.  Excerpt: P. 456, "One broad-based survey of 121 applied linguists clearly acknowledged that 'qualitative approaches to data collection and analysis are clearly important for the types of questions asked in linguistic research', however the survey only assessed statistical literacy."

  • 1995: The State of Our Malaise: Introduction by Robert Weissberg; Perspectives on Political Science, Vol. 24.  "Access to data and statistical literacy permit anything to be quickly analyzed, at least among those possessing the relevant skills."

  • 1996: The Language of Statistical Understanding: An Investigation in Two Countries by Jonathan Moritz, Jane Watson and Lionel Pereira-Menoza.  "The importance of statistical literacy as a basis for deeper statistical understanding is recognised widely in the curriculum documents from several countries."  Copy at

  • 1996: A Look at the Literature (And Other Resources) on Teaching Statistics by Betsy Jane Becker. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics Vol. 21, No. 1, Special Issue: Teaching Statistics (Spring, 1996), pp. 71-90. Excerpt: P. 71, Based on ERIC citations involving 'statistics', "There is little question that in many areas of academe statistical literacy is important."  The inclusion of standards for statistical literacy for the mathematics curricula in the NCTM standards has put the force of the main association for primary and secondary mathematics teachers behind the move to introduce statistics to lower grades."

  • 1997: The First R -- For Reasoning by Anne Hawkins, President of the RSSCSE. ""Statistics for All" policies do not necessarily yield "Statistical Literacy for All"."  "Research would suggest that the simple answer to the question "Can a mathematically educated person be statistically illiterate?" is "Yes". Statistical and probabilistic misconceptions persist in people who have followed mathematics courses even to quite high levels. Indeed, Fischbein and Schnark (1997) have reported finding that some misconceptions seem actually to worsen with exposure to more mathematical training."  ""Statistics for All" policies tend to emphasise knowledge of techniques, while what we really need to develop are the skills, understanding and inclination to use such techniques, i.e. "Statistical Literacy for All". My two criteria for assessing whether statistical education has succeeded would be that its recipient was able to function effectively in a world of uncertainty, and had the skills to summarise and represent information (be it qualitative or quantitative) for him/herself and others."  "Statistical literacy certainly requires a synergy of all the 4 R's, but these must be manifest in a rather broader range of activities, including, at least: literacy; numeracy; visualisation; graphicacy; pattern perception; (re)presentational skills for qualitative or quantitative data; fluency in language and principles of statistics and probability; appreciation of chance and randomness; ability to operate in the real (multivariate) world; ability to construct as well as to manipulate (probabilistic) models; ability to communicate, comprehend and critically evaluate arguments couched in statistical or probabilistic terms; appreciation of investigative rigour; computer literacy."  "Let us assume that what we want to achieve is "statistical literacy" for all, and "statistical literacy plus" for some. If we take a dimension of specialists from users to producers of statistics, we can see that non-specialists and specialists in other subjects would not necessarily need highly developed "production" (i.e. "literacy plus") skills. We do, however, need non-statisticians to understand the principles (and language) of statistics, although a statistician who cannot talk to the non-specialist in a language that the latter will understand is just as statistically illiterate as someone who is unversed in statistics."  "If there is no guarantee that more and more "plus" necessarily turns into statistical literacy, it is time for us to stop hitting our heads against a brick wall, and to engage in more radical rethinking about our approach to statistical education. Statistical education has evolved to where it is at present, but there is a case for saying that this is not the right starting point for where it should be going in the future."  "The really big research question that faces us, though, is how to produce statistically literate citizens."

  • 1997: Anne Hawkins' reply (1997) to David Moore's "New Pedagogy and New Content: The Case of Statistics. International Statistical Review, 1997. "The question is, what competencies do we want the extremes of this dimension to possess? I would argue in favour of 'Statistical Literacy for All', that emphasises understanding over facts and tools..." "Statistics for All, in the absence of literacy, is worthless." "Statistical Literacy for All must be the bread on which some may spread butter, jam, or even caviar." "statistical literacy can be interpreted as meaning an ability to interact effectively in an uncertain (non-deterministic) environment." "A statistically literate person must understand the strategies for data collection and analysis, as well as the nature of chance processes and their relevance to data collection, and the assumptions that underlie statistical reasoning." "Nor does statistical literacy feature prominently, if at all, in discussions about raising the literacy of the population. It seems that statistical literacy falls between a number of stools, and does not receive the widespread consideration that it should." "a move towards statistical literacy for all should be accompanied by a move towards making statistical language intelligible to all." "We have a responsibility to provide courses that allow students to experience the real nature of today's (and the possibilities of tomorrow's) statistics. Assessment methods must reflect, not impede, this. They cannot be allowed adversely to dictate content and pedagogy. To re-think our objectives for both non-specialist and also specialist education, and to recognise and embrace new possibilities, however, will require many of us to forget old ideas." "Sadly, some of our current practices do not suggest that we really want to do this, nor do they always present the synergy of skills, knowledge and understanding that represent the real and adaptable natures of statistics."

  • 1997: [Bayes for Beginners? Some Reasons to Hesitate]: Discussion by Thomas H. Short.  The American Statistician Vol. 51, No. 3 (Aug., 1997), pp. 263-264.  Excerpt: 'Berry uses his consulting experiences to illustrate the applicability of Bayesian methods, and Albert incorporates examples from sports and student-generated data into his introductory courses.  Both provide a fundamental statistical literacy for their students."

  • 1997: Essential Topics in Introductory Statistics and Methodology Courses by N. Giesbrecht, Y. Sell, C. Scialfa, L. Sandals, P. Ehlers; Teaching of Psychology, Vol. 24.  "Pereia-Mendoza and Swift (1981) recognized a need for statistical literacy and asserted that "individuals need a knowledge of statistics and probability to function in our society."

  • Discussion by Thomas H. Short. (response to articles in this issue by Donald A. Berry Jim Albert and Davis S. Moore, P. 241, 247 and 254). The American Statistician 51.n3 (August 1997): pp263(2). "… introductory courses. Both provide a fundamental statistical literacy for their students. …"

  • 1998: Statistics among the Liberal Arts by David S. Moore. Journal of the American Statistical Association Vol. 93, No. 444 (Dec., 1998), pp. 1253-1259.  Excerpt:  P. 1257, "Pinker gives an example that I will use to illustrate the fact that even the most basic aspects of statistical literacy require the regularity of a civilized environment.   High on my list of elements of statistical thinking is the claim that data beat anecdotes."

  • 1998: A one-semester, laboratory-based, quality-oriented statistics curriculum for engineering students by Russell R. Barton, Craig A. Nowack, Soren Bisgaard, Veronica Czitrom, John D. Spurrier and Stephen Vardeman. (includes comments and reply) The American Statistician 52.n3 (August 1998): pp233(11).  "He remarked that statistical literacy is a key to Intel's competitiveness, but that the courses engineers ..." 

  • 1998: [A One-Semester, Laboratory-Based, Quality-Oriented Statistics Curriculum for Engineering Students]: Discussion by Veronica Czitrom.  The American Statistician Vol. 52, No. 3 (Aug., 1998), p. 240.  Excerpt: "Craig Barrett, President of Intel, gave an invited presentation at the Joint Statistical Meetings several years ago.  He remarked that statistical literacy is a key to Intel's competitiveness, but that the courses engineers receive in college do not teach them the applied statistics they will need at Intel."

  • 1998: Learning to win: nurses have retained a sense of "we-ness" deeper than the urge to close ranks against a hostile world by Mary O'Brien. Canadian Woman Studies 18.4 (Dec-March 1998): p21-7. (6187 words) "… well-educated person meant ease and precision with language, and the much vaunted statistical literacy seems to be indifferent to the death of actual literacy. The danger is …"

  • 1999: Interpreting & predicting from bar graphs by Jane Watson and Jonathan Moritz. Australian Journal of Early Childhood 24.2 (June 1999): p22. "Viewing graph comprehension as part of statistical literacy (e.g. Watson & Pereira-Mendoza, 1996) implies that students need to develop not only skills for reading the grammar…"

  • 1999: The Future Role of Statistics in Quality Engineering and Management by A. Bendell; J. Disney; C. McCollin.  The Statistician Vol. 48, No. 3 (1999), pp. 299-326.  Excerpt:  P. 299, "Although statisticians are clear on the contributions their discipline has made historically in various aspects of industry and commerce, they continue to be concerned that the business world does not take statistical literacy or statisticians seriously enough."

  • 1999: Statistical Methods for Engineers by Richard Cleary.  Review.  The American Statistician 53.3 (August 1999): p292. "… grades all suggest that the idea of first forming statistical literacy, and then teaching discipline-specific topics, is gaining currency."

  • 2000: Applying Cognitive Theory to Statistics Instruction by Marsha C. Lovett; Joel B. Greenhouse.  The American Statistician Vol. 54, No. 3 (Aug., 2000), pp. 196-206.  Excerpt: P. 203, "In the case of statistics education, the emphasis on the 'practice of statistics' can be seen through a number of different changes to course curricula. Course goals no longer refer to a student's ability to to derive particular statistical formula or to compute certain statistics by hand, but rather they refer to 'statistical literacy' and students' ability to reason statistically about real-world problems.  For example, the course called 'Chance' (Snell, 1996) builds its entire curriculum around statistical problems that arise as current issues in the media."

  • 2000: Developing Concepts of Sampling by Jane M. Watson; Jonathan B. Moritz. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education Vol. 31, No. 1 (Jan., 2000), pp. 44-70.  Excerpts: P. 44, Abstract: "Responses [to questions on sampling] were characterized in relation to the content, structure and objectives of statistical literacy."  "Another issue [in children's education] is associated with the goal of students' achieving, before they leave school, a level of statistical literacy that will allow them to contribute meaningfully to social decision making based on quantitative data."  Many other references.

  • 2000: Statistical Thinking and Learning by Brian Greer. Mathematical Thinking & Learning; 2000, Vol. 2 Issue 1, p1-9, 9p.  Excerpt: "Gal and Garfield (1997b) listed the following as goals for statistical education: Goal 1: Understand the purpose and logic of statistical investigations. Goal 2: Understand the process of statistical investigations. Goal 3: Master procedural skills.  Goal 4: Understand mathematical relationships.  Goal 5: Understand probability and chance.  Goal 6: Develop interpretive skills and statistical literacy. Goal 7: Develop [the] ability to communicate statistically.  Goal 8: Develop useful statistical dispositions. (pp. 3-5)"

  • 2000: Statistics for Social Progress by Lenne Mikkelsen and Clare Menozzi.  Statistical Journal of the UN Economic Commission for Europe; 2000, Vol. 17 Issue 3/4, p201, 60p.  Exerpt: "The importance of disseminating statistical information raised, in turn, the issue of increasing the general public's "statistical literacy". Increasing the awareness to the fact that indicators often reflect the methodology with which they are elaborated as much as the phenomena they are intended to quantify is only one example."

  • 2000: Assessment in Statistics Education: Issues and Challenges by Joan Garfield and Beth Chance in Mathematical Thinking and Learning 2(1&2), 127-155. Excerpt: "These goals include ...  5. Develop statistical literacy: Students need to learn what is involved in interpreting results from a statistical investigation. This includes how to pose critical, reflective questions about numerical arguments, data reported in the media, and project reports from their classroom peers. For example: (a) How reliable are the measurements used? (b) How representative was the sample? and (c) Are the claims being made sensible in light of the data and sample?"

  • 2000: Toward Understanding the Role of Technological Tools in Statistical Learning by Dani Ben-Zvi in Mathematical Thinking and Learning 2(1&2), 127-155. Excerpt: "On the verge of a new millennium, statistics is more pervasive than ever.  We live in a society that is ever more dependent on information and technology. Major political, social, economic, and scientific decisions are made on the basis of data. Politicians resort to more data-based arguments, often reaching different conclusions from the same data. Statistical reports affecting virtually all aspects of our lives appear regularly in all the news media. Accordingly, statistical literacy is becoming a major goal of the school curriculum, regardless of the professional future of the student (Gal, in press). Statistical thinking offers simple but nonintuitive mental tools for trimming the mass of information, ordering the disorder, separating sense from nonsense, and selecting the relevant few from the irrelevant many."

  • 2000: Statistics in context by Jane M. Watson. Mathematics Teacher 93.1 (Jan 2000): p54(5).

Articles that used "Statistical literacy"  in just the title or in a reference.

  • 1951: Recent Developments in Statistical Theory by Palmer O. Johnson; William J. Moonan.  Review of Educational Research Vol. 21, No. 5, Methods of Research and Appraisal in Education (Dec., 1951), pp. 389-414.  Excerpt: P. 390, "Walker (203) contributed an interesting paper on statistical literacy in the social sciences."  P. 413, "(203)  Walker, Helen M., Statistical Literacy in the Social Sciences.  American Statistician, 5: 6-12; February, 1951."  

  • 1982: Confidence in Confidence Intervals by Janet Bellcourt Pomeranz. Mathematics Magazine Vol. 55, No. 1 (Jan., 1982), pp. 12-18. Excerpt: P. 18, Bibliography reference to Statistical Literacy by D. G. Haack. 

  • 1987: A Bibliography on the Teaching of Probability and Statistics by S. Chandra Misra; Hardeo Sahai; Anil P. Gore; Joseph K. Garrett.  The American Statistician Vol. 41, No. 4 (Nov., 1987), pp. 284-310.  Excerpt:  P. 294. References to Dennis Haack's two articles in Teaching Statistics.  P. 307, Reference to Helen Walker's 1951 paper on statistical literacy.

  • 1992: Instructional Design and the Development of Statistical Literacy by Kenneth C. Bessant. Teaching Sociology Vol. 20, No. 2 (Apr., 1992), pp. 143-149.  "Statistical literacy" is only used in the title -- not in the body of the article.  See JSTOR.

  • 1998: The Beginning of Statistical Inference: Comparing Two Data Sets by Jane M. Watson; Jonathan B. Moritz.  Educational Studies in Mathematics Vol. 37, No. 2 (1998), pp. 145-168.  Excerpt:  P, 167, Reference: Gal, Iddo (1997). 'Statistical Tools and Statistical Literacy: The Case of the Average'  Teaching Statistics 17, 97-99.

  • 1998: Student Projects on Statistical Literacy and the Media by Andrew Gelman; Deborah Nolan; Anna Men; Steve Warmerdam; Michelle Bautista. The American Statistician Vol. 52, No. 2 (May, 1998), pp. 160-166.  Excerpt:  P. 140, "For a general discussion of statistical literacy, see Bessant (1993) and Wallman (1992)." [Years should be reversed]

Quantitative Literacy (This term has long been used as a synonym for statistical literacy within the statistical community)

Books that used Quantitative Literacy in the title:

  • 1990: Quantitative Literacy Series: Exploring Probability by Newman, Obremski and Scheaffer. Dale Seymour/Pearson Education

  • 1990: Quantitative Literacy Series: Exploring Surveys and Information from Samples by Jim Landwehr.  Dale Seymour/Pearson Education

  • 1990: Quantitative Literacy Series: The Art and Technique of Simulation by Gnanadesikan, Scheaffer and Swift.  Dale Seymour/Pearson Education

  • 1994:  Quantitative Literacy Series: Exploring Measurements.  Dale Seymour/Pearson Education

  • 1994: Quantitative Literacy: An Alternative Approach to College Mathematics for Students of the Liberal Arts (University of Colorado, QRMS 1010) by Jeffrey O. Bennett, William L. Briggs and Cherilynn A. Morrow

  • 1995:  Quantitative Literacy Series: Exploring Data by James Landwehr and Ann Watkins.   Dale Seymour/Pearson Education

  • 1996: Quantitative literacy: Mathematics for citizenship in the 21st century by Bennet.

  • 1997: Why Numbers Count: Quantitative Literacy for Tomorrow's America. Edited by Lynn Steen

  • 1997: Mathematics for Life: A Foundation Course for Quantitative Literacy (Preliminary Ed) by Don Pierce, Ed Wright and Leon Roland

  • 1997: Quantitative literacy: Course manual by Stefanos Gialmas.

  • 2001: Mathematics and Democracy: The Case for Quantitative Literacy. Edited by Lynn Steen

  • 2003: Quantitative Literacy: Why Numeracy Matters for Schools and Colleges by Bernard L. Madison

  • 2003: Quantitative Literacy through Algebra.  Carnegie Learning.

  • 2004: Achieving quantitative literacy: An urgent challenge for higher education. Lynn Steen

  • 2006: Current Practices in Quantitative Literacy by Rick Gillman.  MAA Notes. 

  • 2006: Literacy and Mathematics: A Contemporary Approach to Quantitative Literacy by Jay and Mathew

  • 2008: Calculation vs. Context: Quantitative Literacy and Its Implications for Teacher Education. Edited by Lynn Steen and Bernie Madison.

Articles that used Quantitative Literacy or Numeracy in the title:

  • 1986:  The quantitative literacy project by  Scheaffer, R. L.  in Teaching Statistics, 8, 34-38

  • 1988:  Statistics in the schools: The past, present, and future of the Quantitative Literacy Project by Scheaffer, Richard L. in  ASA Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education, 71-78

  • 1989: The Quantitative Literacy Project -- Its impact on introductory statistics courses by R. L. Scheaffer in the ASA Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education, 25-28

  • 1990: The ASA-NCTM Quantitative Literacy Project: An Overview by R. L Scheaffer at ICOTS-3, p. 45-49. A1-2

  • 1990: Presentation of Quantitative Literacy Materials in a Math Education Course by Richard Madsen at ICOTS-3, p. 381-384. A8-4

  • 1990: Quantitative Literacy - Implementation Through Teacher Inservice by Gail Burrill at ICOTS-3, p. 50-55.  A1-3  "Recognising the link between mathematical literacy and statistical literacy, Everybody Counts, a publication of the Mathematics Sciences Education Board, is typical when it advocates that statistics should be a primary component of a revised curriculum."

  • 1990: Quantitative literacy: Leadership training for master teachers Training Teachers to Teach Statistics. By Gail Burrill in the  Proceedings of the International Statistical Institute Round Table Conference, 219-227 Hawkins, Anne (ed.) International Statistical Institute (Voorburg, The Netherlands)

  • 1991: The role of statistics in achieving numeracy for all by Jean Thompson in the Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Teaching Statistics. Volume 1: School and General Issues, 429-432 Vere-Jones, David (ed.) International Statistical Institute (Voorburg, The Netherlands)

  • 1991: Presentation of quantitative literacy materials in a math education course by Richard Madsen in the Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Teaching Statistics. Volume 1: School and General Issues, 381-384 Vere-Jones, David (ed.) International Statistical Institute (Voorburg, The Netherlands)

  • 1991: Quantitative literacy -- Implementation through teacher inservice by Gail Burrill in the Proceedings  of the Third International Conference on Teaching Statistics. Volume 1: School and General Issues, 50-55 Vere-Jones, David (ed.) International Statistical Institute (Voorburg, The Netherlands)

  • 1991: The ASA-NCTM Quantitative Literacy Project: An overview by Richard Scheaffer in the Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Teaching Statistics. Volume 1: School and General Issues, 45-49 Vere-Jones, David (ed.) International Statistical Institute (Voorburg, The Netherlands)

  • 1991: Statistics and probability topics for pre-college students: The quantitative literacy perspective by James M. Landwehr in the ASA Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education, 62-66 American Statistical Association (Alexandria, VA)

  • 1993: Teaching statistics using the quantitative literacy series by  Daniel T. Voss (Disc: p166-168) ASA Proceedings of Section on Statistical Education, 154-159

  • 1995: Science quantitative literacy in action by Jeffrey A. Witmer in ASA Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education, 70-71

  • 1995: Secondary quantitative literacy in action by  Richard L. Scheaffer in the ASA Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education, 65-69

  • 1997: A foundation course for quantitative literacy by Don Pierce in the ASA Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education, 175-178

  • 2006: Pedagogical challenges of quantitative literacy by  Bernard L. Madison in the ASA Proceedings of the Joint Statistical Meetings, 2323-2328

  • 2006: The role of statistics educators in the quantitative literacy movement by Joy Jordan and Beth Haines in the Journal of Statistics Education, 14, ---

  • 2007: Promoting quantitative literacy K-12 by Shail Butani in the ASA Proceedings of the Joint Statistical Meetings, 2170-2175

Articles that used Quantitative Literacy or Numeracy in the article content -- but not in the title:

  • 1993: The science lab: An opportunity for real statistical analyses in the schools by Jeffrey A. Witmer in the ASA Proceedings of the Section on Statistical Education, 39-41

  • 1993: Statistics: A new beginning by  Janet L. Norwood in  Chance, 6, 42-47

  • 1994: From home runs to housing costs: Data resource for teaching statistics.  Burrill, Gail (ed.) Dale Seymour Publications (Palo Alto)

  • 1997: Mere Literacy is not Enough by George Cobb in  Why Numbers Count: Quantitative Literacy for Tomorrow's America edited by Lynn Steen.   College Entrance Examination Board.  "The phrase "quantitative literacy" tempts us to think of the analog for numbers: "Can you count? Can you calculate?" But these questions ask about the low end of a continuum, inhabited by those skills whose value is quickly eroding. Value is increasing only at the upper end, and there reasoning is a better description than literacy."

  • 1997: Teaching Bayes' rule: A data-oriented approach by Jim Albert (Pkg: p241-274) The American Statistician, 51, 247-253

  • 1999: Teaching statistics theory through applications by Nolan, D. and Speed, T. P. in The American Statistician, 53, 370-375

  • 2001: Statistics in preschool by Hilton, Sterling C., Grimshaw, Scott D. and Anderson, Genan T. in The American Statistician, 55, 332-336

  • 2004: Teaching statistical principles using epidemiology: Measuring the health of populations by Stroup, Donna F., Goodman, Richard A., Cordell, Ralph and Scheaffer, Richard in The American Statistician, 58, 77-84

  • 2006: Innovations in teaching statistics by Richard J. Cleary and Joan B. Garfield in The American Statistician, 60, 99-100


  • 1995: Correlation, Determination and Causation in Introductory Statistics by Milo Schield. ASA Proceedings of Section on Statistical Education, pp. 189-194.  "Statistics is a tool for detecting causality. We must expand statistics to include causality as a central topic. And since causality is deeply embedded in our language, we should first teach our students to see when statistical words, phrases and sentences have causal connotations without necessarily asserting a causal relation. We must recognize that statistics is at least as much a problem of language as it is of mathematics."  "Statistics began as a technique for identifying causal laws in the social sciences. Causality is the missing link in teaching statistics today. It is time to return to the task that motivated our founders to invent statistics in the first place, to study those aspects of causality that are discipline independent and to thereby help our students use statistics properly in the search for knowledge."

Statistical Thinking and Statistical Reasoning (These term are sometimes used as synonyms for statistical literacy)

  • ...


Quantitative Thinking and Reasoning (These term are sometimes used as synonyms for statistical literacy)

  • 1974: The importance of quantitative thinking by J. R. Zacharias,  National Elementary Principal, 53(2), 8-13.



1998: Statistical Literacy was a topic at ICOTS-8 under "Statistics Education and the Wider Society".

CONFOUNDING has been in the vocabulary of the theory of experimental design from the beginning. "Confounded" appears on p. 513 of R. A. Fisher’s "The Arrangement of Field Experiments" Journal of the Ministry of Agriculture of Great Britain, 33: 503-513 (1926). But the usage is older than the modern theory. In his System of Logic (1843) John Stuart Mill wrote that in devising an experiment "We require also that none of the circumstances [of the experiment] that we do know shall have effects susceptible of being confounded with those of the agents whose properties we wish to study." (Book III, chapter X.)

(based on David (2001) and S. Greenland "Confounding" in Encyclopedia of Biostatistics 1, (1998), 900-907. Chichester: Wiley

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