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SSA Leads Support for the Introductory Data Science in Schools Project (IDSSP)

11 Nov 2019 3:17 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

Short summary: The Introductory Data Science in Schools Project is an international project aimed at promoting the teaching of and introductory data science course in schools. The project has reached a key stage, and the SSA is delighted to support the project as they move to the next stage of raising funds to develop the course materials.

In the October issue of the SSA newsletter, Nick Fisher provided an update on IDSSP (, an international project in which the SSA has been playing a leading role.   The purpose of IDSSP is to promote and support the teaching of Introductory Data Science, particularly in the final years of schooling, by developing:

  • a framework for introducing data science including topics, learning outcomes, and sample lesson plans
  • excellent modular teaching and learning resources and associated assessment rubrics
  • a moderated portal for ongoing sharing of materials and experience
  • professional development services for teachers and teacher trainers

The project comprises two phases, the first of which has now been completed:

Phase 1.   Develop a curriculum framework as the basis for development of resources to support teaching students a pre-calculus course on Introductory Data Science;
a corresponding framework to teach teachers how to teach students Introductory Data Science.

Phase 2.   Develop the resources to support courses based on the curriculum frameworks, and devise and implement a course aimed at prospective teachers of Data Science.

In a progress report to the societies supporting IDSSP, a number of options were presented about how to proceed, of which far and away the most ambitious is:

Mount a fund-raising effort to enable the full Phase 2:

  • ·         production of high-quality course materials supporting a variety of delivery modes, including self-study;
  • ·         appropriate assessment materials; and
  • ·         a course to teach teachers, with an associated accreditation process.

The SSA is very pleased to be the first of the societies to support this action.

Adrian Barnett
SSA President


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