Once upon a time, long long ago, I was interviewed for a Head of Department job.
In my interview with the Head, she asked me about how I would use data to inform my evaluation of departmental performance in public examinations.
I knew she wouldn’t like my answer, but I wasn’t desperate for the job, certainly not so desperate that I would pretend to be the very model of a modern learning facilitator in order to get it. So I told her that I’d looked up the department’s A Level results, that twenty-two pupils had taken the subject, and that this was far too small a sample size to tell anyone anything meaningful.
At that point she interrupted me and I didn’t get to develop the point, but I stand by what I said: the Law of Small Numbers is in itself enough to cast doubt on any conclusions drawn…
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