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Press Release

NSTA and National Teacher Organizations Release Joint Position Statement on Data Science

Data Science Should be Taught Across the Curriculum in K-12 Schools to Help Develop a Data-Literate Citizenry, New Position Statement Recommends

McLean, Va.—May 15, 2024— The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA), in collaboration with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and the American Statistical Association (ASA), released a joint position statement today calling for data science to be introduced and taught across the curriculum in K–12 schools to help all learners develop data literacy, knowledge, and skills. 

“In today’s technological era, the ability to understand, evaluate, and use data is imperative,” said NSTA Chief Executive Officer Erika Shugart, Ph.D. “Whether it’s constructing a graph that reveals change over time or using statistics to determine if a difference is actually relevant, data literacy empowers students to think critically and communicate effectively about the information they encounter.”

The statement includes four declarations or guiding principles, developed to build further understanding and support for the teaching and learning of data science across subjects. The declarations include:

  • Data science is contextual and interdisciplinary. Across disciplines, data science offers a common approach: framing the problem, generating questions, planning solutions, collecting data, analysis, visualization, and communication.
  • Data science is an investigative process. Asking a compelling question that necessitates data to answer it is at the heart of data science.
  • Data science understandings and experiences are for everyone. Experiences with making sense of data should start in elementary school and progress as what students understand about the world becomes more complex.
  • Data science educators must develop and practice ethical uses of data. In preparation for engaging data towards civically responsible ends, students must learn to question the sources of data, such as individuals, devices, or systems that generate or contribute to its creation and track the various transformations and processes applied to data, such as cleaning, aggregation, or analysis.

The statement was jointly developed through a consensus-building approach by a team of educators, scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, and other education experts from NSTA, NCTM, NCSS, CSTA and ASA, and adopted by each organization’s Board of Directors.

To represent the concerns and interests of our diverse body of members and the greater science teaching community, NSTA requires a voice that is identifiable, influential, and informed. This aim is achieved in part through taking positions on matters related to science, STEM, and education. Position statements provide a platform for NSTA to inform stakeholders of the science educator perspective. This statement serves as a guiding document, helping to raise the profile of the science teaching profession, promoting respect, and ensuring investment that supports equitable, high-quality science education. Visit NSTA to view all position statements.

About NSTA
The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is a vibrant community of 35,000 science educators and professionals committed to best practices in teaching science and its impact on student learning. NSTA offers high-quality science resources and continuous learning so that science educators grow professionally and excel in their career. For new and experienced teachers alike, the NSTA community offers the opportunity to network with like-minded peers at the national level, connect with mentors and leading researchers, and learn from the best in the field. For more information, visit, or follow NSTA on X, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

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Kate Falk, NSTA
(703) 312-9211

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