A Mapping Lesson on Statistics and Perception
Category : News & Media
In this session, our leadership team picked up where we had left off last week; the map project.We continued the global knowledge activity by analyzing our stereotypes and perceptions of the world. Students were divided into ten groups. Each group received a map and an assortment of colored stickers. Each sticker represented a different category:
- Yellow for press freedom
- Red for infant mortality
- Blue for women representation in public office
- Green for education expenditures (relative to each country’s state of economy)
Here are the official rankings of each categories.
- United States
Infant mortality rates (lowest to highest)
- Czech Republic
Women in Public Office (highest to lowest)
- South Africa
- New Zealand
Education ExpendituresThis index compares the budget on education as a percent of each country’s GDP. From biggest spenders downward, here’s the list:
- Marshall Islands
- Sao Tome and Principe
As always, we asked the students three questions, reflecting on the map exercise:
- What surprised you?
- What do you notice?
- Why did we do this activity?
“I was surprised by the number of women representatives in Africa, I had not expected such high numbers.” – Nicky “There were a lot of countries listed that I’ve never heard of before.” – Anonymous Student “That’s because the US has this perception of Africa as underdeveloped and third world, and we’re such a big country that we don’t pay attention to the smaller ones.” – Warda & Iman
“The US likes to paint itself as the greatest country, but we barely ranked top 10 or 20 in the categories assigned.” – SofiaSide note: Where does the United States rank near the top? For starters, we have one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world. The United States also pours a lot of our budget into military expenditures, ranking #1 worldwide.
So, what’s the point?
“To be aware of countries that are less significant in the media.” – Zion. “Wow, I don’t know anything, but I thought I did. I need to question what I’m learning in school” – Sofia “War always goes in the media, but we never hear about stuff like education budgets.” -Osman. “It’s humbly accepting that the world is bigger than you — and not being defeated by this fact but using this as a fuel to drive you towards learning more.” – Cody