Census to chart children’s view of their lives

SND12-wk4-Census 300x225The only national survey to comprehensively chart children’s views of their own lives is taking place across New Zealand from March 16.

Kiwi kids will give their views on issues as wide-ranging as bullying, their after-school screen-time, and which team they think will win the Rugby World Cup in September.

CensusAtSchool New Zealand, known in te reo Māori as Tataurangakitekura Aotearoa, is a non-profit, online educational project that aims to bring statistics to life in the classroom. Supervised by teachers, students anonymously answer 35 questions about their lives in English or te reo Māori, and are later able to explore the results in class. CAS runs every two years, and in 2013, more than 23,500 Year 5-13 schoolchildren took part, representing more than 380 schools.

CensusAtSchool, now in its seventh edition, is a biennial collaborative project involving teachers, the University of Auckland’s Department of Statistics, Statistics New Zealand and the Ministry of Education.

It is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people, and is carried out in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the US, Japan and South Africa. The countries share some questions so comparisons can be made.

In New Zealand, CensusAtSchool/Tataurangakitekura is co-directed by Prof Chris Wildof the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland and Rachel Cunliffe, a former lecturer in the department who owns web design company cre8d design and is a commentator on youth culture and online communications.

Key dates:
March 16, 2015: CensusatSchool survey goes live and schools start taking part.
May 19, 2015: Interesting initial statistics from the survey data released to media.
May 29, 2015: End of CensusAtSchool data-collection period.
Mid-June, 2015: CensusAtSchool nationwide database available for sampling.

Photo: Stephen Barker,
Barker Photography.  ©The University of Auckland.


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