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Navigating the Landscape of Data Literacy: It IS Complex

By Ellen Mandinach, Edith Gummer


There’s much talk about using data to inform education decision-making, both in and beyond the classroom. This paper examines the landscape of data literacy, based on a meeting in May 2012 which brought together the foremost researchers and professional development providers in the field of data-driven decision-making in education.

The meeting also included other relevant stakeholders, such as representatives from funding agencies, state and federal education officials, and experts in assessment. The aim was to develop a working, or operational, definition of data literacy for educators.

Although an explicit definition of data literacy is an elusive and challenging task, the meeting was able to contribute to an in-depth understanding of the complexity of the concept, explore the interrelatedness of contextual components, and identify the knowledge and skills that comprise data literacy.

This paper describes the process of striving toward making the concept of data literacy clearly measurable, and includes:

  • An examination of relevant issues and the context in which data literacy resides
  • A brief and targeted exploration of relevant literature
  • A description of the methodology used in the project
  • Findings and recommendations for potential next steps

Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2012
Format: PDF
Pages: 117
Publisher: WestEd