Small Grants for Integrating Data Analysis in the Sociology Curriculum
The American Sociological Association (ASA) and the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN) are collaborating on project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to close the quantitative reasoning gap in sociology (see September/October 2002 Footnotes). The project, called Integrating Data Analysis (IDA), involves curricular change to add research experiences “early and often” in the non-research methods and statistics courses in sociology.
The heart of the project centered on 12 departments that undertook the challenge to change their curriculum and individual courses to meet clearly established research training goals. At least half of the faculty in those departments developed course modules where students posed and answered sociological questions using Census and other data. Examples of those modules are posted at www.ssdan.net.
A second phase of the project brought in new departments that had a plan to infuse research in their curriculum in some new way. These department teams attended the capstone conference on “Addressing the Quantitative Literacy Gap in Sociology” last June (see Vantage Point on p. 2 in this issue).
The third phase of our work on quantitative literacy is to invite and support the involvement of more departments. The IDA funding includes support of up to $2,500 per department to pilot test ways to increase quantitative reasoning skills in undergraduate sociology students, particularly in lower division courses.
Proposals of no more than five double-spaced pages should describe fully the pilot project and how the seed money will be used (e.g., student help, equipment, an honorarium, purchase of materials). The proposal needs to involve at least two faculty members and be signed by the chair. The project should be started by January 1, 2005. In addition to writing a short report to ASA, the awardees should plan to present their findings at an appropriate professional meeting.
Direct questions and send the proposal to: Carla B. Howery, Director, Academic and Professional Affairs, American Sociological Association, 1307 New York Avenue, NW, #700, Washington, DC 20005. Proposals are due by December 1, 2004, and will be reviewed by the IDA staff: Carla Howery, William Frey, Kerry J. Strand, and Havidán Rodríguez.