Dashiell Young-Saver and Innovation in Statistics Curriculum

Last month, our very own AP Statistics teacher out of IDEA South Flores, Dashiell Young-Saver, found himself on the prestigious 2024 Forbes 30 under 30 list. In his second year of teaching at IDEA, his engaging lesson plans have gotten him nationwide recognition. So, what got him there? We got the chance to sit down and talk with him about the recognition, as well as everything that led up to that moment. 


From Journalist to Catching the “Teaching Bug”
 

Young-Saver attended Harvard University where originally, he planned to become a journalist. While working at internships for news outlets covering education, he couldn’t help but notice the disparities in the quality of education based on where students grew up. “It was unbelievable for me,” Young-Saver said. “It made me want to not just write about it, but to do something about it.” That’s when a shift occurred and where he decided to pursue education. 

“I knew that I wanted to teach math because if you can speak the language of the quantitative world, that’s such an empowering thing,” Young-Saver explained. “Statistics is this beautiful interplay between math and the real world. There is never a question of “when am I going to use this?”.” 

For many students, math can be one of their most challenging subjects. Oftentimes, problems in the textbooks can be unengaging, which was an issue Young-Saver ran into in his first couple of years of teaching. One day, he decided to get rid of a lot of textbook material and ask students what they wanted to learn about. This would be the start of a different kind of curriculum.  

 

Making Math What It Is: Relevant 

His students wanted to learn about more relevant concepts such as voting, gerrymandering, and sports teams. From there, he combined their interests with statistics topics and created lesson plans that would end up reshaping his classroom, as well as his career. “When I started incorporating their interests into the lessons, we saw a big jump in their AP scores,” Young-Saver stated.
“They were becoming more engaged with the material, as they realized they could use the skills from our class to think critically about the world around them.”

These lesson plans then became part of the creation of his nonprofit organization, Skew the Script. Since their start in 2020, their organization’s free lesson plans have helped well over 20,000 teachers and 400,000 students.  

 

 

As Skew the Script has gained national attention, the recognition he receives from former students always stays close to him. Young-Saver said that he feels a bit uncomfortable in the spotlight, as he knows so many other educators who also put in the long hours to support students who don’t get recognized. In the future, he is hoping our country finds more ways to recognize teachers. He’s thankful for his students and all the extra hours they have put into his classroom and is excited for the future lesson plans to come.  

 

 

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