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Integrating Sociological Research into Large Introductory Courses: Learning Content and Increasing Quantitative Literacy

Maxine P. Atkinson, Ronald F. Czaja and Zachary B. Brewster
Teaching Sociology
Vol. 34, No. 1, Cultivating Quantitative Literacy (Jan., 2006), pp. 54-64
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20058454
Page Count: 11
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Integrating Sociological Research into Large Introductory Courses: Learning Content and Increasing Quantitative Literacy
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Abstract

Sociologists can make meaningful contributions to quantitative literacy by teaching sociological research skills in sociology classes, including introductory courses. We report on the effectiveness of requiring a research module in a large introductory class. The module is designed to teach both basic research skills and to increase awareness of race and gender inequality. We find that a majority of students are able to interpret basic percentage tables with a minimum of instruction. Under the condition that students are willing to acknowledge inequality in our occupational system, completing the research assignment increases their awareness of race and gender inequality. We argue that one of sociology's most powerful contributions to quantitative literacy is that our core content provides a challenging and relevant context in which to learn quantitative skills.

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