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Adults encounter statistics in the news, in health care, when making consumer decisions, and in many other contexts. Statistical reasoning helps students build on and develop various mathematical concepts, but its application has relevance beyond the study of mathematics. Data is involved in decision-making at every level of society. Traditionally, data and statistics instruction in math classes has focused on data analysis. This course seeks to expand the focus to the entire cycle and process of doing statistics to answer questions about the world around us. In addition to its real-life applications, the content of this course is relevant for adult students preparing for HSE exams in math, science, and social studies.


This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • All teachers involved in adult numeracy instruction. Instructors at all levels of math comfort are encouraged to enroll. You do not need to currently teach a math class to fully participate in this course.

In this course, you will deepen your understanding of the statistical cycle and how to help students develop and apply basic concepts in statistical reasoning. Through hands-on activities and experiments, videos, readings, and examples of student work, you will explore the four stages of the statistical cycle: formulating questions, collecting data, analyzing data, and interpreting results. The course includes examples of applications of statistics to scientific inquiry and contemporary social issues. 

Making Sense of Data is a blended course composed of two face-to-face sessions and two online sessions. The total completion time is approximately 16 hours. The course schedule is as follows:

  • November 1, 9:00am–1:00pm: Session 1 (face-to-face meeting, TERC)
  • November 1–8: Session 2 (online, self-paced)
  • November 8, 9:00am–1:00pm: Session 3 (face-to-face meeting, TERC)
  • November 8–17: Session 4 (online, self-paced)

Participation in the online sessions involves reading assigned materials and participating in online discussions and activities.

To receive a certificate of completion, you must complete both online sessions and attend both face-to-face-sessions. For more information, please contact Sherry Soares ( 

Learning Objectives: 

Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Identify applications for data and statistics in real life
  • Describe and put into practice the four stages of the statistical cycle
  • Generate statistical questions that anticipate variability
  • Collect data from simple surveys and measurements, taking into consideration ways to reduce bias and measurement variability
  • Consider different ways of displaying data and reporting measures of center, and consciously choose the ones that highlight important aspects of the data.
  • Understand the roles of probability and randomness in statistics and how they relate to different stages in the statistical cycle.
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s): 


11/01/2019 - 9:00am to 1:00pm
11/08/2019 - 9:00am to 1:00pm
2067 Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd floor
Cambridge, MA 02140
PD Center: 

Math and Numeracy

SABES Mathematics and Adult Numeracy Curriculum and Instruction PD Center
Topic Area: 
ABE/Adult Education
Blended Learning
College and Career Readiness
College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRSAE)
High School Equivalency (HiSET/GED)
Learning Disabilities
Mathematics and Adult Numeracy
PDP Eligible: 
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