Session 1c, Statistics Education

This session will be held in the Erskine Building, Room 446

14:15 — 14:35

Statistical shifts and the Curriculum

Mike Camden
Statistics New Zealand and NZSA Education Committee

Statistical practice has shifted in recent years, to be more widely applied, more accessible, and more visual. The writers of the draft curriculum were sensitive to these shifts. The new curriculum, we hope, will further improve the links between mathematics education and the world of statistical practice and communication. We will outline what we see as the shifts, and how teachers can benefit from them. There are some unfamiliar and possibly scary items in the Draft (like data cleaning, multivariate data, experimental design, and resampling).These can shift school statistics to be more accessible to students, and more relevant to their future lives and careers. We will demystify these items with activities for the classroom.

14:35 — 14:55

A Review of a Visual Teaching Resource for Statistics and Modelling in Schools.

John A. Harraway
University of Otago

At the statistics education afternoon of the 2005 New Zealand Statistical Association Conference researchers from seven departments at the University of Otago described current research that used statistics procedures. The presentations were recorded on video, re-recorded, and edited in the studio resulting in a DVD of 145 minutes. Statistics New Zealand contributed two further studies. Data from the nine studies were placed on a CD, and a DVD/CD pack containing the videos and data was made available to schools. Teachers at the education afternoon were enthusiastic about having access to such a resource, and this influenced the decision to proceed to the final product. It was seen as a way of providing ideas for project work in Statistics and Modelling, as well as helping to motivate the teaching of statistics by showing current research in interesting contexts. Clips from the DVD will be shown. The full DVD is available for viewing. Opinion is sought from teachers about the value of this resource as a teaching aid. Are the contexts of interest? Can the data be accessed in schools? Should there be a fuller description of the data with a list of questions for investigation? If there are positive answers to these and other questions further similar resources will be developed.

14:55 — 15:15

The Development of Teaching Resources for Statistics and Modelling.

John A. Harraway
University of Otago

Production of a second DVD/CD pack for use in schools is currently under review. Identifying reaction to the current DVD/CD pack will be a guide to the worth of such teaching aids. Several areas being considered for future inclusion are rugby injury data, lifestyle data and health survey data. One example described here identifies the prevalence of alcohol and tobacco consumption among 6-24-month post-partum New Zealand women, many of whom are breast feeding. Maternal alcohol consumption is known to negatively affect the fetus. Tobacco consumption is known to negatively affect exposed young children. This study, involving 318 South Island women and using a self-administered questionnaire, assesses the prevalence of these lifestyle behaviours and the categories of other socio-demographic factors. The sampling methodology and the data will be described. It includes, for each respondent, ethnicity, education level, income level, marital status as well as maternal status all of which are categorical, and age which is continuous. Some results from the data will be reported. The question is whether this study with potential for further analysis and investigation would be of interest to schools that are teaching the subject Statistics and Modelling.

Presentation Program