Simple Guide to Voodoo Statistics

Ian Schagen

01 May 2008

This article, by NFER's former Head of Statistics, explores a number of issues:

  • How do we ensure that policy and practice in education is well-served by statistical information?
  • How do we resolve the tension between simplicity of analysis and providing misleading statistics?
  • What should be the place of statistical literacy in 21st century education?

The article first appeared in Education Journal, issue 112. Ian Schagen was previously Head of Statistics at NFER, and in April 2008 became Chief Research Analyst at the New Zealand Ministry of Education. The views expressed in the article are his own and do not represent the views of either organisation.