Fostering Risk Literacy in Elementary School
Christoph Till
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Risk communication in the public domain is often transmitted with an ambigous language or misleading representations of information. This causes biases in people's understanding of risks. Furthermore people's reasoning about risks is also often biased by their emotions and feelings (Gigerenzer, 2013). This correlates with people's problems in understanding statistical and numerical information. Consequently one of the main aims of educators should be to become aware of this "Risk Illiteracy" and to improve young learners' understanding of different aspects of Risk. From the perspective of stochastics education, this means to focus on an early encounter with probabilistic issues in real-life situations of risk. Ongoing studies discovered that mathematical concepts like proportions, expected values and conditional probabilities can be taught to children through "Natural Frequencies" in hands-on activities (Gigerenzer & Hoffrage, 1995). This work presents an intervention study in twelve classes of 4th graders. The aim of the study was to find out whether children have probabilistic preconcepts of risk and decision making under uncertainty, and if they do, which is the good way to foster them.


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Article Type: Research Article

INT ELECT J MATH ED, 2014, Volume 9, Issue 2, 83-96

Publication date: 12 Dec 2014

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