>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! :-)