usei_1st - Best Practices in Introductory Statistics Draft...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
1 Best Practices in Introductory Statistics Draft 2000.06.19 Position paper prepared for the Undergraduate Statistics Education Initiative First Courses in Statistical Science Working Group Joan Garfield, University of Minnesota Bob Hogg, University of Iowa Candace Schau, University of New Mexico Dex Whittinghill, Rowan University
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
2 1.0 The Introductory Course 1.1 Overview Over the past twenty years much has been written about the introductory, or service course in statistics. Historically, this course has been viewed as difficult and unpleasant by many students and frustrating and unrewarding to teach by many instructors. Dissatisfactions with the introductory course have led people to suggest new models for the course, to lead workshops to reexamine this course (Hogg, 1992), and to offer recommendations for how the course should be changed (Cobb, 1992). While the course continues to be the focus of recommendations for change, the number of students taking introductory statistics is steadily increasing. Loftsgaarden and Watkins (1998) estimated that 236,000 students were enrolled in post- secondary elementary-level statistics courses offered by mathematics or statistics departments in the United States in the fall semester of 1995. This number underestimates the actual current enrollment for at least two reasons. The first is that the estimate is five years old and enrollments are increasing. The second is that the estimate does not include introductory statistics courses taught by faculty in many other departments (e.g., psychology, sociology, business and economics). Introductory statistics is often the one and only statistics course taken by students who are not majoring in this discipline. In recent years many statisticians have become involved in the reform movement in statistical education aimed at the teaching of introductory statistics, and The National Science Foundation has funded numerous projects designed to implement aspects of this reform (Cobb, 1993). Moore (1997a) describes the reform in terms of changes in content (more data analysis, less probability), pedagogy (fewer lectures, more active learning), and technology (for data analysis and simulations). Hoaglin and Moore (1992) offered a set of readings to inform statistics instructors of new content and techniques, Garfield (1995) offered a research perspective on why and how teaching methods should be changed, and many statisticians have suggested ways to incorporate technology into the introductory course (e.g., Velleman & Moore, 1996; Lock, in press).
Background image of page 2
3 1.2 A Focus on Statistical Thinking A principle aspect of the reform movement is the focus on concepts, reasoning, and thinking. Butler (1998), in a recent article titled “On the Failure of the Widespread Use of Statistics,” suggested that, in spite of the increasing numbers of adults who complete introductory statistics courses, these adults do not often use statistical methods in their jobs and, when they do try, “the results are a shambles” (p. 84). This may be due to the
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 20

usei_1st - Best Practices in Introductory Statistics Draft...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online