Lancaster EPrints

Developing numeracy in criminology students through crime data.

Humphreys, Leslie and Francis, Brian (2009) Developing numeracy in criminology students through crime data. In: CETL-MSOR Conference 2008 Lancaster University 8th – 9th September Conference Proceedings. The Maths, Stats & OR Network, Birmingham, U.K., pp. 51-56. ISBN 978-0-9555914-5-7

[img]
Preview
PDF - Published Version
Download (192Kb) | Preview

    Abstract

    Criminology students at Lancaster, as elsewhere, do not expect quantitative ideas to play a role in their undergraduate degree. Many have poor mathematical skills and have difficulty with the interpretation of data in numerical form. In parallel with this, the Economic and Social Research Council has recognised that many social science undergraduates are not exposed to mathematics and statistics in their degree courses, and this will lead to a lack of quantitative social science researchers for the future. The Council are thus funding the development of innovative undergraduate courses to tackle this problem. This paper describes the characteristics of an innovative course in criminology “Measuring Crime” which introduces second-year students to basic concepts of numeracy, graphics and reading and understanding tables, as well as the various sources of crime data and their similarities and contradictions. It introduces students to the idea of crime data as quantitative information rather than case studies or interviews. It encourages students to plot data and to understand and question the source of commonly voiced research statements. Statistical concepts such as trend lines are also introduced quietly through graphics. Although a shock for many students, the course is in general well received.

    Item Type: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings
    Subjects:
    Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Mathematics and Statistics
    ID Code: 49984
    Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
    Deposited On: 23 Sep 2011 16:48
    Refereed?: No
    Published?: Published
    Last Modified: 10 Apr 2014 00:40
    Identification Number:
    URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/49984

    Actions (login required)

    View Item