The Children’s Statistical Yearbook is a concept that aims to inspire children to examine their daily life and to produce data on it by utilizing statistical methods. Collecting diverse data on their living environment guides children to cooperate and to develop their own communities. The Yearbook offers the schools an active way that enhances participation to implement the curriculum, and to obtain new data on the wellbeing of the pupils.
Several schools in Helsinki have been piloting the Children’s Statistical Yearbook and their experiences have been positive. Through statistical methods, concrete information about the wellbeing of the pupils has been obtained. Furthermore, the school’s practices have been modified based on these findings so that they meet the pupils’ needs and desires better.
Meilahti focuses on school satisfaction
In the spring, the pupils of Meilahti school studied the issues that concerned the pupils starting a new school. The students listed things like new mealtime practices and the fear getting lost, for example.
Based on information collected, the school’s practices were changed so that the 7th-graders were given a briefing about the school so that special attention was paid to the statistically significant “uncertainty factors”. When the 7th-graders had attended school for a few weeks, they filled in a school satisfaction inquiry. Based on the results it could be noted that the new way to brief the 7th graders had worked very well and Meilahti junior high school has decided to change its procedures based on the Yearbook project.
Visualization by the Meilahti students.
Kannelmäki examines learning styles
The pupils at Kannelmäki junior high school answered a poll about the factors that influence their learning. The questions had been divided into six categories: emotional factors, psychological factors, environmental factors, social factors, physiological factors and reception channels. Based on the results, a personal learning profile was drawn up for each pupil and it was discussed together in biology class. The pupils also visualized their learning profiles in a poster.
The teacher used the data to make pupil profiles for his or her own use; it cross-referenced the pupils’ grade point averages and their learning profiles. Based on this, the pupils can be divided into groups based on their learning style, i.e. offer them for example a quiet room to work in or better lighting. The different learning styles have been discussed with the pupils so that they would better understand – and tolerate – each others’ differences.
Statistics Finland closely involved
For more than a century, the Statistics Finland has been producing the Statistical Yearbook of Finland. “The statistical yearbook produced by the children is a tremendous “sister product” that we absolutely want to be involved with. Our goal is to make statistics and the possibilities for their use known, and to teach the skill to read and use statistics, which is so needed in the modern society.” Reija Helenius summarizes the motives of Statistics Finland.
The project offers Statistics Finland an excellent opportunity to deepen its collaboration with schools. Collaboration works on the pupils’ terms and based on the curriculum. “Working with children and youth has been especially fascinating in this project. Knowing how to present statistics so that other people, not only the experts, understand them is a challenge. So we need to look at things from another perspective,” Helenius says.
The City of Helsinki Urban facts, the welfare unit of the Education department, the Math Land of City of Helsinki, University of Helsinki Summamutikka centre and Forum Virium Helsinki are working on the Children’s Statistical Yearbook and the operating models linked with it. Further information on the operating models and completed projects is available at: www.lastentilastollinenvuosikirja.fi
Children’s Statistical Yearbook is part of the Collective School and Innovative Services initiative, which develops models for promoting collectivity and student participation in schools.The project is coordinated by Forum Virium Helsinki and the cities of Helsinki, Turku and Lappeenranta are also involved. The project is carried out in the period 2012 – 2014 and it is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
tel. +358 40 556 2125