Charles Darwin’s Census Return

Charles Darwin. 1 negative : glass ; 5 x 7 in....
Image via Wikipedia

I have come across an excellent site called “Census At School”. They explain themselves thus:

CensusAtSchool – an International Children’s Census

Collecting and disseminating real data for use by teachers and pupils in data-handling, ICT and across the curriculum for teaching and learning.

CensusAtSchool is a non-profit making project funded by organisations interested in promoting good use of statistics and data handling.

The data has been collected since the year 2000  from schools in the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Children can interrogate the database and find out information in various ways.

There are also a number of excellent resources. I followed the lead of the 2011 Census Tab on the home page.

This is a superb resource for schools. Here we see a historic document about a famous person. It can be looked at in relation to how we use and collect data. We can then use it as a historical document and from it we can do further research about Darwin and Victorian times.

The whole site is well worth looking at by teachers as it has a huge amount of information. Importantly the data raises questions… which is really all data ever does. It needs to be looked at, interpreted, discussed and its validity needs to be challenged.

For example, here is a part of the resource “Do You Believe in Numbers” which is the second tab down on the Census 2011 Tab on the Home Page.

“A survey of more than 11,000 Australians, Chinese and Germans proved pet-owners enjoy better levels of health. In five years, they made 15 – 20 % fewer annual visits to the doctor than non pet-owners.”

Bruce Headey, Australia, 10th International Conference on Human-Animal Interactions, October 2004

http://www.uk.cesar.com/KeepHimHappy/

Do you believe this statement? …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

What other characteristics or life styles could dog walkers/pet-owners have in common that could account for fewer annual visits to the doctor?

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

In our information and data rich world it is good to see a site such as this. Hopefully it will be used by as many schools as possible. It would be interesting if the database could be widened to include other countries outside of Britain and the Commonwealth.

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