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Reading Pictures

“A picture is worth a thousand words” goes the old saying.

If that’s the case, then an infographic like this one is far more valuable. (click to see it full size in a new window)

This is from the National Geographic Blog and clearly illustrates several factors in the debate over national health care in ways that pages of text never can.

Do we teach our students to interpret information in this form? More importantly, do we teach them how create a visualization of data similar to this one?

Or do we just teach them to read?

On the mathematical side of things, one thing the chart shows most effectively is that there is no direct correlation between amount of money spent per person for health care and at least one desirable effect: life span.

What else might students (and others) read in this picture?

1 Comment

  1. Mark S.

    Based on this alone, I would say that the Japanese and the Spanish must be doing something right.
    As to your questions, I would be thrilled if kids could conceive of ideas in these terms, on their own. On the other hand, is a longer life a better life; all things are certainly not equal. Nice one, Tim.

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