Thursday, 04 August 2011 | 2 Comments
I’m not trying to present a view, either way, on the carbon tax being debated in Australia. But those against the carbon tax seem to be providing some good fodder for the maths classroom.
Have a look at this TV advertisement:
When looking at the topic of Data Representation with Stage 4 students, we cover “misleading graphs”. That is where the creator of the graph constructs the graph poorly to bias one viewpoint. (See the NSW BOS 7-10 Syllabus: “analyse graphical displays to recognise features that may cause a misleading interpretation eg displaced zero, irregular scales” DS4.1). In addition to the examples listed in the syllabus, I also talk about the misuse of area.
What are the two problems with the graph in the advertisement above?
How do these problems support (or not) the case being put forward in the advertisement?
It would be a simple exercise for students to create this graph correctly.
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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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