Nine students have finished their doctoral thesis in

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other backgrounds, although the majority of them still have backgrounds related to mathematics. Nine students have finished their doctoral thesis in statistics education, and all of these specialised in statistics during their University studies or had been teaching statistics for a number of years before entering the programme. 3.1 CONTENTS OF THE PROGRAMME Although some students have had experience in educational research and in teaching mathematics or statistics, the majority of them have needed to complement their theoretical knowledge about education and mathematics education. Two courses (together lasting 60 hours) on the Theory of Mathematics Education include four main components: Mathematics (Statistics) Education as a Scientific Discipline, Epistemological Foundations, Teaching and Learning Theories and Curricular Theories The number of specific courses in statistics education has increased from only a 30 hours course in statistics education in the period 1988-1994 to 3 different courses (didactics of probability; didactics of data analysis; didactics of inference) with a total of 100 hours in the period 2000-2002. The basic content of these courses is: Current situation of Statistics Education: Epistemology of Stochastics: Cognitive development: The stochastic curriculum: Research into students’ understanding and learning: Other research: attitudes, social factors, comparative studies, case studies, textbooks. The main methodological content of the courses, which have ranged between 120 hours (in the 1988-1990 programme) to 60 hours in the 2000-2002 programme are: Research paradigms: The Research Process: Data Collection: and Data Analysis. 3.2 STARTING A RESEARCH GROUP IN STATISTICS EDUCATION Starting in 1988 a doctoral programme with only three possible supervisors forced us to concentrate the research topics on three basic research lines: Numerical Thinking, Theory of Mathematics Education, and Statistics Education. Two of the lecturers in charge of the programme had carried out their dissertations in pure statistics and had extensive experience of statistics consultancy work in different experimental research areas, the field of statistics was familiar to them in its different facets: teaching, applied and theoretical research. That experience has also made them conscious of the problems in understanding and applying statistics and of the interest in carrying out didactical research in this area. The fact that, after finishing their dissertations, our colleagues stayed in our department or other cities close to Granada (Jaén, Melilla) served to increase the “critical mass” of lecturers who had specialised in statistics education and who could collaborate in supervising new students. From a few initial problems: association, combinatorics, the test of hypotheses, we gradually moved to other areas, such as probability or the normal distribution. Nine doctoral dissertations have been finished in statistics education in this period and three more are currently in progress.
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