Initial Publication Date: June 24, 2010

Hansen Proficiencies and Quantitative Writing

Quantitative Writing is an integral part of Hansen's Proficiencies as discussed below:

1. Accessing Existing Knowledge– can involve more than just locating published information. It can include explaining how to find what you found, which can be an application of QW.

2. Displaying Command of Existing Knowledge – to the extent that that knowledge involves data or analytical concepts, this display can involve QW.

3. Interpreting Existing Knowledge – QW is a medium for developing meaning, and thus interpreting existing knowledge. 'What does it mean?' is a critical question students should be able to answer and QW provides a tool for doing that.

4. Interpreting and Manipulating Economic Data – This is explicitly QW. QW is a tool for figuring out 'what the data mean.' Manipulating doesn't mean merely mathematical operations but rather considering what sorts of data are appropriate for one's purpose (both practical and rhetorical), and converting the source data to that form. Are tables or graphs best at convincing the audience of your point? These are all issues of QW.

5. Applying Existing Knowledge – is about developing a persuasive argument. Persuasion requires evidence. Building and presenting arguments using analytic concepts and/or data is quantitative writing.

6. Asking Pertinent and Penetrating Questions – may involve QW. Writing a review of a study probably includes the asking of pertinent and penetrating questions. One could easily imagine QW assignments which give students opportunities to ask such questions.

7. Creating New Knowledge – Economic analysis involves theoretical and/or empirical reasoning. Presenting that analysis, as well as developing one's conclusions, is an application of QW.

For more detailed discussion of Hansen's Proficiencies, see the Cooperative Learning page on Hansens Proficiencies.