quantitative methods, real data, statistical literacy, education research, teacher professional learning, education data
Engaging part-time Master of Education students in the study of quantitative research methods is challenging. The majority of them lead busy lives as teachers and/or education leaders, attend their MEd classes in the evenings and plan to engage in small-scale qualitative research for their theses. In this context, it has been hard to motivate students to engage critically and deeply with quantitative research methods. A widespread deficit view of their own competency in mathematics and computing, which are often considered essential, further compounds the problem. This paper describes the redesign of a quantitative methods module and the resulting changed experiences of students. Findings from this practitioner research study point to the positive impact of using a real national data set the Growing Up in Ireland Dataset on students engagement and appreciation of the value of quantitative research in education.