Let’s talk about data




Age Range:

Learners age 10-16.


Jo Moules, Jo Horlock and Stuart Naylor.


This publication supports the teaching and learning of data handling skills in science. It is written at a level suitable for students in secondary schools and the later years of primary schools. It provides a starting point for developing the key skills students need to make sense of data generated during experiments and other science enquiries. It includes activities for students and background information for teachers.

This book has the following sections:

Planning measurements to get the most useful results.
Recording and processing measurements using tables.
Analysing and displaying data using suitable graphs.
Drawing Conclusions from analysing data and graphs.

The principles of good formative assessment are embedded in every section. Each area is approached through an active assessment strategy that informs teachers of the levels of skill and understanding their students have, and then leads on to suitable follow up activities.

This book and CD pack form our complete guide to teaching data. The CD-ROM includes all of the printable resources required for the activities in the book.

Scientific data.

Experimentation, observation and enquiry are at the heart of all the sciences. these are also some of the things students typically enjoy about the subject. Experimental and investigative work provides important opportunities to link together the concrete and the abstract, developing both procedural skills and conceptual understanding.

Using data effectively emphasises a hands-on, minds-on balance. Data aren’t simply the product of the process of experimentation. Data are the key to linking process and product, procedural skills and conceptual understanding. Data not only provide the resource that we need for analysing and developing scientific ideas; they also enable us to understand, evaluate and improve the scientific process. They drive how we do things and why we do them.