Dancing with Data: Embodying the Numerical and Humanistic Sides of Data

Data literacy is important for supporting individuals to incorporate information from research studies into their own perspectives and decision-making processes. However, it can be challenging for students to read, understand, and relate to data. Students have to be able to traverse the representational forms that data takes on (i.e., numerical, graphical, etc.) and connect it to their understanding of a topic. We explore the implementation of a co-designed data-dance unit in which middle school students created their own embodied metaphors to represent and communicate about graphs through dance. In analyzing dance artifacts and post-study interviews with the learners and teachers, we demonstrate how the creation of embodied metaphors in dance led to new ways of exploring the data as learners reflected on different perspectives on topics across numerical values, contexts, and implications.

DesPortes, K., Vacca, R., Tes, M., Woods, P., Matuk, C., Amato, A. & Silander, M. (2022). Dancing with data: Embodying the numerical and humanistic sides of data. In, Proceedings of the International Conference for the Learning Sciences, The International Society for the Learning Sciences. Hybrid.