The Labor Mediator


In this problem, student groups serve as mediators to settle a dispute between the owner and the union of a small manufacturing company. Both sides are looking at the same data but coming up with very different numbers. The students job is to first understand the two different ways of seeing the data (the owner is including the management salaries in their calculations of the average salary while the union doesn’t include the upper management). Then they have to present a recommendation.

This is a really engaging problem that raises important questions about the way data, often perceived as being completely objective, can be biased and informed by perspective.

This problem is also a great way to explore the following medium-emphasisTASC-assessed standard:

Interpret differences in shape, center, and spread in the
context of the data sets, accounting for possible effects of extreme data points (outliers).


One thought on “The Labor Mediator

  1. I used this lesson today with the HSE students. They were very engaged and worked hard to tease and pull apart the data to complete the assignment. The students shared their work with each other. Some students commented that the assignment was similar to the constructed response on the TASC. Thanks!

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