Data everyday as community-driven science: Athletes' critical data literacy practices in collegiate sports contexts
Publication or External Link
In this article, we investigate the community-driven science happening organically in elite athletics as a means of engaging a community of learners—collegiate athletes, many of whom come from underrepresented groups—in STEM. We aim to recognize the data literacy practices inherent in sports play and to explore the potential of critical data literacy practices for enabling athletes to leverage data science as a means of addressing systemic racial, equity, and justice issues inherent in sports institutions. We leverage research on critical data literacies as a lens to present case studies of three athletes at an NCAA Division 1 university spanning three different sports. We focus on athletes' experiences as they engage in critical data literacy practices and the ways they welcome, adapt, resist, and critique such engagements. Our findings indicate ways in which athletes (1) readily accept data practices espoused by their coaches and sport, (2) critique and intentionally disengage from such practices, and (3) develop their own new data productions. In order to support community-driven science, our findings point to the critical role of athletics' organizations in promoting athletes' access to, as well as engagement and agency with data practices on their teams.