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Replies: 4   Last Post: Feb 26, 1996 6:52 PM

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 Timothy Brown Posts: 42 Registered: 12/6/04
Posted: Feb 26, 1996 11:11 AM

Al Coons writes:

>No wonder statistics is boring and difficult to understand >(not to
you and me but to so many students). From what I >can gather
"Introduction to the
>Practice of Statistics", Moore & McCabe, seems to be a >book which
is generally well accepted and used in many >programs. It is 700
pages of text with a few charts and a >minimum number of plots. It
reads like a text for a college >non-applied mathematics text (again
fine for you and me). >It is hard to believe that this type of
presentation matches >up best with the learning styles of the
majority of our >students.

>As you flip through Johnson your first impression is that
>Statistics lives, is interesting, has a history, is connected to
>the real world, that data, results, and processes can be
>visualized.

I wholeheartedly agree with your principles, Al, but I want to defend
the Moore and McCabe book. (I'm using it this year in our first
attempt at an AP course). While there isn't much in the book for
strictly visual learners, I think there is probably enough. Given
that it's supposed to be a AP course, we should be pushing kids to
learn how to handle "college" texts anyway. As for real-world
relevance, I think Moore and McCabe is excellent. For one nice
example, check out the discussion of outliers in Chapter 1. They
give great examples of improper inclusion and improper exclusion.

But what I like most about Moore and McCabe is the emphasis on
critical thinking. They play down calculations, formulas, etc., and
really do a nice job of getting across the fundamental principles of
describing data ("Look for a pattern and deviations from the
pattern"), drawing conclusions ("Do not let your calculations
override common sense"), and making inferences (Sorry, I can't come
up with a snappy quote). This approach is perfectly in turn with
E.T.S.'s avowed emphasis on the exam.

I have used three or four texts over the years (admittedly no others
on the recommended list), and none have come close to this one. It
has helped to make this course fun to teach so far.

By the way, I do not know either author, and I don't work for W.H.
Freeman! :-)

Date Subject Author
2/26/96 Timothy Brown
2/26/96 Albyn Jones
2/26/96 Chris Olsen
2/26/96 CalcDr@aol.com
2/26/96 WalterGL@aol.com