Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods
Sefydliad Ymchwil Gymdeithasol ac Economaidd, Data a Dulliau Cymru

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Teaching social sciences in the UK gets a makeover

Cardiff University social scientists are tackling the level of quantitative methods in UK social science teaching

A panel of international speakers from Leuven, Utrecht Universities, and the US (University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), will feature in a conference designed to assist teachers in their delivery of statistics teaching.

On Friday 28th June, Cardiff School of Social Sciences and the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) will host a unique conference with a panel of experts who will debate the pros and cons of different approaches in quantitative methods teaching. 

The event aims to demonstrate how teaching numbers and statistics can be more engaging and is ideally timed to feature in the International Year of Statistics (IYS).

Professor Donald Treiman (UCLA) will deliver his keynote address UK: No Country for Old Quants? and discuss the different models of quantitative training throughout the world and the way forward.

The conference concludes a series of workshops, which have been developed and delivered by QUANT@C (Quantitative Teaching at Cardiff),  aimed to increase the number of quantitatively literate, competent and confident Social Science teachers in the UK and to improve the quality of quantitative methods (QM) teaching in the Social Sciences.

The event will celebrate the success of the workshops and progress made in quantitative methods teaching and gives delegates the opportunity to present the lessons learned and materials developed throughout the series.

‘Following our success at receiving Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and British Academy funding we are delighted to have been able to host a series of international teaching and pedagogy workshops in the Research Development Initiative (RDI) – Quantitative Methods (QM) Teaching,’ says Dr Sin Yi Cheung, Senior Lecturer at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences and Principle Investigator of the RDI project.  ‘We have harnessed the expertise of quantitative training in North America and Europe with international speakers leading the workshop to ‘train the trainers’.  The legacy of weak quantitative training at both undergraduate and postgraduate social science departments in the UK has meant the supply of good lecturers who can teach quantitative methods has been scarce.’

‘Teaching training in the UK does not teach you how to teach statistics.  We hope our unique workshop series has played a part in overcoming this deficit by providing a rare opportunity for existing research methods teachers and advanced PhD students to see how others teach statistics, discuss, debate and experiment different strategies in engaging learners; and to exchange innovative ideas of embedding quantitative methods in sociology, politics and other social science subjects.’

The workshop ESRC-QM Researcher Development Initiative: Training Quantitative Social Sciences Teachers in the UK will take place on Friday 28th June at Cardiff University.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

1. The workshop ESRC-QM Researcher Development Initiative: Training Quantitative Social Sciences Teachers in the UK will take place on Friday 28th June at the Glamorgan Building at Cardiff University (9.30am – 5.00pm).   For more information about the event please visit: www.wiserd.ac.uk/quantac-conference

2. QUANT@C is an innovative group within the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University.  The aim of the group is to research and develop new pedagogic strategies for student engagement with quantitative methods in the social sciences.  The QUANT@C team includes Dr Sin Yi Cheung, Dr Luke Sloan and Professor Malcolm Williams.

www.wiserd.ac.uk/research/current-projects/quantc/

3. Cardiff School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University is recognised nationally and internationally as a leading centre for the conduct of social science research. Its research achieves a distinctive identity through a combination of inter-disciplinary working, impact on policy and practice, and innovative methodological approaches, both qualitative and quantitative.

In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise its research rated first in the UK for ‘research power’ in Sociology. This is a combined measure of the quality and quantity of research outputs, with the majority of its work being rated ‘internationally excellent’.

www.cardiff.ac.uk/socsi

4. The Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) is jointly funded by the Welsh Government (HEFCW) and the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to draw together and build upon the existing expertise in quantitative and qualitative research methods and methodologies at the universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, South Wales and Swansea.

Established in 2009, WISERD undertakes research and capacity building activities that underpin research infrastructure in the economic and social sciences across Wales and beyond.

www.wiserd.ac.uk

5. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC’s total budget for 2012-13 is £205 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.

www.esrc.a.uk

6. The British Academy is the UK’s national body which champions and supports the humanities and social sciences. It is an independent, self-governing fellowship of scholars, elected for their distinction in research and publication.

www.britac.ac.uk

Further information:

WISERD Communications Team

WISERD Communications Team
Telephone: 029 2087 0026
Email: WISERD.comms@cardiff.ac.uk

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences - Communications Team

Laura Davies
Email: DaviesLE5@cf.ac.uk
Telephone:02920 879341

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