Evaluating Polling Methods and Results: A Lesson Plan

Do you want to teach your students about polling methods and associated concepts (reliability, generalizability, sampling error)?  The New York Times' Learning Network offers a lesson plan based on New York Times content to help students learn what basic skills are needed to read a poll, how scientifically sound polls are, how one can gauge the reliability of poll data, and how to read and evaluate poll methodologies and results. Students then practice administering and interpreting polls.  The lesson plan includes questions to guide class discussion.

Students could also use the insights they gained from these exercises to analyze and discuss this TIME Magazine survey in which questions about values and lifestyle are used to predict a person's political ideology: http://science.time.com/2014/01/09/can-time-predict-your-politics/

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Frederique Laubepin

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