Reflections on Statistics: Learning, Teaching, and Assessment in Grades K-12

Reflections on Statistics: Learning, Teaching, and Assessment in Grades K-12

Reflections on Statistics: Learning, Teaching, and Assessment in Grades K-12

Reflections on Statistics: Learning, Teaching, and Assessment in Grades K-12

Synopsis

An issue in the current push for reform in mathematics education is the call to address statistics at the precollege level. This volume represents the emerging findings of an interdisciplinary collaboration among a group of mathematics educators, cognitive scientists, teachers, and statisticians to construct an understanding of how to introduce statistics education and assessment for students in elementary and secondary schools. A premise shared by the contributors to this volume is that when students are introduced to statistics at the K-12 level and provided with opportunities to do statistics that are related to actual life situations, they will be better prepared for decision making in the real world.

The interdisciplinary nature of the group of researchers stimulated a lively interchange of ideas for enhancing the learning, teaching, and assessment of statistical understanding, which is reflected in this volume. Mathematics educators contribute their insights into how teachers teach mathematical ideas and heighten our awareness of the ecological needs of the current mathematics classroom. Cognitive scientists share their understanding of developmental differences in learning and present theoretical perspectives that contribute to the design of effective learning environments. Classroom teachers share their ideas about classroom activities and assessment of student learning, as well as their concerns for in-service training and workshops to help teachers acquire skills in this new content area. Statisticians offer their understanding of what is feasible to teach in the early grades, and what their view is of statistical literacy.

The book is organized around four interdependent themes: content, teaching, learning, and assessment. By focusing their respective chapters on particular themes, the authors intend to cultivate a better understanding of how each relates to improvements in statistics education. This is the first book to:

• address statistics learning in grades K-12,

• address issues of statistical curriculum content in grades K-12,

• address issues of assessment of statistics learning in grades K-12,

• bring issues of technology instruction and assessment in statistics education in grades K-12, and

• look at teacher education for statistics instruction in grades K-12.

This is a must-read book for both practitioners and researchers involved in K-12 mathematics education.

Excerpt

One call for reform in mathematics education is to address statistics at the precollege level. We created an interdisciplinary working group consisting of mathematics educators, cognitive scientists, teachers, and statisticians to address this call in a manner that could help teachers and researchers make informed decisions about how to introduce statistics in grades K-12. The interdisciplinary nature of this group stimulated a lively interchange of ideas for enhancing the learning, teaching, and assessment of statistical understanding. Mathematical educators contributed their insights into how teachers teach mathematical ideas, and heightened the group's awareness of the ecological needs of the current mathematical classroom. Cognitive scientists shared their understanding of developmental differences in learning and provided theoretical perspectives that contribute to the design of effective learning environments. Classroom teachers shared their ideas about classroom activities and assessment of student learning, as well as their concern for in-service workshops that could help them acquire skills in this new content area. Statisticians shared their concerns about what was feasible to teach in these early grades, and their views of statistical literacy. One of the outcomes of this multidisciplinary collaboration is this volume, which represents a partial consolidation of some of our interactions and, as such, should appeal to both practioners and researchers.

It is too early in our research to provide prescriptions for statistics instruction and assessment in grades K-12, and hence we provide some reflections on statistics, trying to develop a clearer image of where the field may be going in terms of teaching, learning, and assessment of statistical content that is appropriate for different grade levels. In an attempt to identify the important key ideas that need to be considered for children and adolescents learning statistics, the book is organized along four interdependent themes: content, teaching, learning, and assessment. By focusing chapters on particular themes, we intend to cultivate a better understanding of how each area relates to improvements in . . .

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