Academic journal article Journal of Teacher Education

New Standards Require Teaching More Statistics: Are Preservice Secondary Mathematics Teachers Ready?

Academic journal article Journal of Teacher Education

New Standards Require Teaching More Statistics: Are Preservice Secondary Mathematics Teachers Ready?

Article excerpt

Secondary teacher education preparation programs commonly struggle to meet the demands of state and national standards, accreditation, and licensure, as well as update programs based on new research in teacher education. For example, many programs have been modifying course content to better align with recent adoptions of national standards in English, mathematics, and science. In mathematics, most states have either adopted the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM; National Governors Association Center for Best Practice & Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010) or modified their previously adopted standards to align with CCSSM (Academic Benchmarks, 2015). Therefore, teacher education programs must adapt to meet the challenge of preparing preservice secondary (Grades 6-12) mathematics teachers (PSMTs) to teach all aspects of mathematics included in CCSSM.

With an ever increasing world where statistical literacy is imperative for most careers, daily decision making, and informed citizenry (Franklin, 2013), the inclusion of statistics and probability in secondary (Grades 6-12) curricula has been long advocated for by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM; 1989, 2000). In 2007, the Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE; Franklin et a!., 2007) was written to provide a strong foundation to support implementation of the NCTM standards at the PreK-12 level. "The Pre-K-12 GAISE Framework, the document endorsed and published by the American Statistical Association (ASA; which heavily influenced the Statistics standards in CCSS), presents the Statistics curriculum for grades Pre-K-12 as a cohesive and coherent curriculum strand" (Franklin, 2013, p. 6).

In an effort to assist teacher education programs, the recent Mathematics Education of Teachers II (Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences, 2012) and Statistical Education of Teachers (SET; Franklin et al., 2015) recommended additional courses to develop statistical and pedagogical knowledge in secondary mathematics teacher education programs. In addition, the last decade has included recommendations to assist college faculty to reform statistics courses, particularly introductory statistics courses which may be taken by many secondary preservice teachers (e.g., Cobb, 2015; Garfield et al., 2007).

In 2016, Utts, the President of the ASA, reachcd out to mathematics teacher educators to express the urgency for teacher preparation to play an important role in the growing demand of a statistically literate society by implementing the recommendations presented in the SET report. However, without knowing how PSMTs' current collegiate experiences are impacting their content knowledge and confidence to teach statistics, it is difficult for mathematics teacher educators to advocate for changes to the secondary mathematics teacher preparation program. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine PSMTs' content knowledge of statistics and confidence in their ability to teach statistics, and describe experiences that appear to influence PSMTs' preparedness to teach statistics. Gaining such insight can assist teacher education programs in making strategic changes to meet the demands of the changing standards in mathematics that intends to promote a more conceptual approach to statistics content that was markedly absent prior to CCSSM (Franklin, 2013).

Statistical Knowledge for Teaching

In typical secondary mathematics teacher preparation programs, PSMTs should have opportunities to develop statistical knowledge for teaching as learners in statistics courses, as well as courses focused on pedagogy. Regardless of where these opportunities arise, it is critical that PSMTs engage in experiences that can develop their statistical knowledge for teaching. Building off of the work of Hill, Ball, and Schilling (2008), Groth (2013) posits that statistical knowledge for teaching consists of two domains: subject matter knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. …

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