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Gapminder


found in: math; social studies; 9-12

Gapminder is a project that to put world trends into perspective. Hans Rosling, and since his death in 2017, Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund have made the case that our misperceptions of the state of the world are, in part, skewed by media’s narrow focus on the dramatic. A series of downloadable posters, Factfulness, explain how to avoid misinterpreting information.

Hans Rosling’s previous animated bubble charts that visualized statistical data proved especially effective in presenting data. See: Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes - The Joy of Stats  - BBC Four Rosling has been called a Pollyannaist by some, overly optimistic. Statistics reveal broad trends, not individual realities. Note that in this video example Rosling acknowledges and illustrates the average wellbeing of China can be further analyzed by province revealing wide disparities between them.

Gapminder would be a good resource for high school social studies mathematics, and economics classrooms. It offers tools, videos, downloads, classroom tools, and data.

Some highlights:

Downloads  includes slides, posters, handouts & lesson plans (PDFs), interactive presentations (Flash, PowerPoint etc.), and downloadable software that lets users show animated statistics from laptops without an internet connection. Data is updated automatically.

Dollar Street features images of 264 families in 50 countries organized from poorest to richest. Move the slider to houses to compare.

Videos cover economics, demographics, religion, washing machines, statistics, and more.

Data provides data on issues of heakth, emplyment, labor, agriculture, Aid given and received. There are 519 entries.

In addition, Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think (2018) by Hans Rosling with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund covers some the same ground and presents in ten chapters why we are wrong about the state of the world.

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