Raising Heretics

Fri September 04, 12:45 PM–01:10 PM • Back to program
Start time 12:45
End time 13:10
Countdown link Open timer

Much of our Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths education starts from a foundation of facts and known answers. This teaches our kids that the point of STEM is to Get The RIght Answer, whereas the best thing about STEM disciplines is actually fixing things and solving problems. In this talk I will show how ADSEI is dedicated to raising Heretics, and why Heresy is something we desperately need right now, both in the Data Science industry and the world as a whole.

In this talk, I want to show you how Data Science Education is key to nurturing a rationally sceptical, creative, ethical, problem solving population who can save the world. I’m going to do that by looking at the problems we have in the Data Science and Technology communities today, and how those communities are shaping our world - problems and all. We’re then going to explore the issues with our current education system in more depth. There is no such thing as perfect data, yet we treat data with more reverence than it deserves. Our entire education system is built on the idea of being measurable, yet all too often “measurable” winds up being the opposite of “meaningful”. We’ll consider how we got here, and how we can create an education system that focuses on meaningful outcomes, and develops our students into rational, ethical heretics, All of these goals require us to get comfortable with the idea of uncertainty. To be prepared to challenge the status quo, query accepted wisdom, and even to question our own findings. We're going to talk about why uncertainty is important, and how we can get comfortable with it, especially in education. Why should you take my word for it? I'll show you how data science projects work, with case studies from my own teaching, and examples of units ADSEI has created right across the curriculum, from Humanities to STEM.

Linda McIver she/her

Dr Linda McIver is the Founder and Executive Director of the Australian Data Science Education Institute (ADSEI), a registered charity dedicated to ensuring that all Australian students have the chance to learn Data Science and Data Literacy skills in the context of authentic projects with real impact. Linda has a PhD in Computer Science Education, and extensive experience teaching at both tertiary and secondary levels. Through ADSEI, Linda now creates engaging Data Science Projects to empower students to use tech & data science skills to make positive change in their own communities.