You may have heard about how important attention is in data science. Information about the economy, health, politics or behaviour, for example, is constantly present on cell phone screens, in newspapers, or on television programmes. How many times a word was searched in Google, how many likes a photo you posted previously got or how many times the cute animal video they shared with you was viewed.
In other words: Data science is already part of everyday life and also part of the student world. This is a scenario that tends to become more and more over time. Many professions considered “from the future” expect people to be able to read and interpret data well.
Understanding this information goes beyond professional life, of course. It is a way of understanding the world and understanding the context in which one lives as a matter of citizenship. In fact, the National Common Curriculum Base (BNCC) also contains, among its general competencies, an element that highlights digital culture, which is closely related to data science.
Given this scenario, Fundação Telefônica Vivo recently launched its first technical and vocational training track in Data Science for high school students. Content will be made available in an unprecedented way to public schools – technical and regular – and vocational education networks as early as 2022, starting in the states of Santa Catarina, Mato Grosso do Sul and Espiritu Santo.
The project is being implemented with the Brazilian Education Innovation Center (CIEB), the project’s technical partner. “The ability to analyze and interpret data generated by technologies has become a prerequisite for reading and understanding the world, just as Paolo Freire referred to literacy,” says Lucia Delagnello, Director of the CIEB. “In this sense, we need to democratize data literacy, introducing it into basic education curricula so that all children and young people can live and fully exercise their purpose in the world, as recognized by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. [Organização para a Cooperação e Desenvolvimento Econômico] In 2019, he adds.
The Santa Catarina Department of Education is already planning to implement the course in the first half of 2022. As a way of preparation, teachers will participate in a series of training meetings before classes begin. This training will be on-going and must take place for the duration of the two-year prescribed course implementation.
“We know that society is going through a very intense and rapid technological transformation. In this context of revolution, innovation, technological and digital transformation, a lot of data is being produced and there is a shortage of professionals trained to manage and analyze this data to understand the phenomena that are fundamentally related to this huge amount of data,” says Luis Duarte, Vocational Education Coordinator at the Santa Catarina Secretariat.
In this context of revolution, innovation, technological and digital transformation, a lot of data is being produced and there is a shortage of trained professionals
Lewis highlights that the Data Science course was created as an in-depth course. It is divided into three themes that are taught over four semesters. Beginning in the second year of high school, the Data Management Hub will occupy the first and second semesters. In the first semester of the third year of high school, students will be exposed to big data, which forms the second expected focus of the course. The third axis, which will be implemented in the second semester for third year students, will deal with data analysis. The suggestion is that at the end of each track, students leave with an assistantship certificate for the respective topic studied.
“To the extent that the contents contribute to the development of critical thinking and the ability to make decisions, we hope that young people will be able to make better decisions in their lives, contributing not only to employability, but also to the formation of citizens who are aware of their role and heroes of their lives,” he stated. Americo Matar, CEO of Fundação Telefônica Vivo.
How to implement?
Currently, the application is experimental, because data science is no longer part of the Ministry of Education’s National Catalog of Technical Courses (CNTC). In order for educational networks to be able to apply it, it is sufficient to submit the course to the state board of education.
Lúcia Dellagnelo explains that to publicize the implementation of the course, an implementation guide has been prepared and made available On the program’s website. The material covers issues of a practical nature for the effective presentation of professional programs in the public network, as well as the pedagogical course project, which presents justifications, assessment criteria, teaching and learning methodology and other pedagogical issues.
“The three subjects together provide all the information and guidance needed to include the topic in educational planning for schools and public education networks,” says the CIEB President.
The new high school, scheduled for implementation in 2022, presents, in addition to the training tracks, a new composition that focuses on the student’s personality and current topics of interest to young people so that the learning experience is more beneficial.
Data education will contribute to the personal and professional growth of this generation and to the development of the country
“We need to democratize education in data. All professions will need to read and analyze the data. In addition, data education will contribute to the personal and professional growth of this generation and to the development of the country. The digital transformation of society has made data science a critical field for all nations,” emphasizes Lucia.
The coordinator from Santa Catarina points out that among the professions of the future, one of the main demands is the presence of a person specialized in handling data, which justifies the creation and implementation of a training path dedicated to this topic.
“Wannabe internet buff. Future teen idol. Hardcore zombie guru. Gamer. Avid creator. Entrepreneur. Bacon ninja.”