It must also be based on experimentation in class

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and abilities. It must also be based on experimentation in class situations, in particular with problem solving and on a didactical analysis of the learning conditions. Until today such works are badly needed. Thus a training program for researchers on the teaching of statistics and on the planning of research should be part of the main aims of the community of researchers in mathematical didactics. But in France, this question does not fit in with the structures of scientific research. PhDs centred on the teaching of a given subject do not enable young researchers to follow a normal academic career within this area. They are often compelled to join an educational science research team, the aims of which are quite different, since they are interested in general pedagogical questions, or in educational psychology, or sociology, or philosophy and history of education, rather than in questions of didactics. It seems obvious, as is proved by many training actions, that in order to develop research centred on the teaching of a given subject, it is necessary for the researcher to be a "specialist" of this subject up to a level including a master's degree. This of course is also true for the teaching of statistics and probability. Most of the
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24 researchers should come from an academic background training in mathematics including statistics and probability, or from some specialised colleges such as ENSAE (École Nationale de Statistique Appliquée à l'Économie) or INSEE (Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques). The curricula in educational science include some elements of descriptive statistics, together with bases for the use of estimation and hypothesis tests, but this level of probability is not conceptually sufficient. Complementary training should be given to enable these young researchers to focus on the teaching of statistics. It is necessary that every researcher should receive a basic training in the didactics of sciences up to the postgraduate level, which is when young researchers are initiated to practising research. This is an ambitious and open perspective. But the aim of developing research programs on the teaching of statistics faces another major difficulty, which is the almost total lack of research directors in this domain in France, since there are fewer than five specialists altogether. There is, however, a structure which works on the link between research on the teaching and learning of mathematics and teacher training : the IREM network (Instituts de Recherche sur l'Enseignement des Mathématiques), which exists in every one of the 25 French academic centres. This network created a national working group in 1991, the "Statistics and Probability" commission. This group is composed of about 15 members. It works on the implementation of the new curricula in statistics and probability at senior high school level (15 - 18 year-old students). The commission has produced documents and books for teachers based on classroom experiments, which are analysed and discussed from a didactical point of view. The commission is
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