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Topic: news
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Bob Hayden

Posts: 2,384
Registered: 12/6/04
Posted: Jul 18, 1995 10:05 AM
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> Schools bring math to life by teaching statistics.
> The Washington Post, 19 June 1995, p. A1
> David Leonhardt
> KEY WORDS: teaching statistics
> Leonhardt reports that there is a quiet revolution occurring in
> mathematics teaching. Probability and Statistics lessons at all
> grade levels are on the rise. The appeal stems from the fact
> that the subjects are practical and relevant; teachers argue that
> probability and statistics will help students become skeptical
> consumers of the deluge of information presented to society.
> Allen P. Cook, director of research for the National Council of
> Teachers of Mathematics, said statistics teaching has grown
> steadily since 1989, when the council issued a national
> recommendation urging all schools to teach more hands-on math.
> Cook said that, with test scores showing the U.S. falling behind
> its global counterparts and with an economy that is no longer
> internationally dominant, instructors realize that they cannot
> afford to continue teaching abstract mathematical concepts.
> Educators say that the trend towards teaching Statistics is
> difficult to gauge because most of the new emphasis on Statistics
> is occurring within other math studies, either in lower grades or
> in high school algebra classes. Only 1% of 1990 high school
> graduates took a statistics course, said Vance Grant, a National
> Library of Education statistician.
> The effect of this revolution is evident throughout the country's
> school system. In Fairfax County, statistics compose 25% of
> middle school math curriculum. D.C. public school instructors
> teach kindergartners about poll taking and second graders about
> probability. Within the next 2 years, an Advanced Placement test
> in Statistics will be offered. Educators conjecture that the
> test will probably cause hundreds of high schools to offer
> statistics classes.
> The article reports that teachers say that the shift toward the
> practical subject of statistics is unmistakable and has helped
> convince students that mathematics and real life intersect. The
> trend also reflects the long-growing demand among parents and
> business executives that math instruction become more relevant to
> students and the jobs they will eventually seek.
> Perhaps the overall importance of this revolution in mathematics
> instruction is best articulated by Tom Nuttall, Fairfax County's
> math coordinator: "For the layperson, the person who is not
> going to be a mathematician, which is most of us, it's probably
> the most important strand of math. It helps people make
> decisions." And in a world inundated by information, such a tool
> is indeed a powerful one.
> 1. The article states that "like any curriculum change, this one
> causes debate. In some schools, including Oakland Mills, the
> emphasis on Statistics means that fewer students will progress to
> Calculus and be ready for upper-level mathematics and science in
> college." Is this so bad?
> 2. The existence of the advanced placement test in Computer
> Science has influenced the teaching of Computer Science in the
> high schools -- for example, it pretty much dictates the
> computer language to be used in high school. Similarly, the use
> of calculators on the College Board exams influences the teaching
> of Calculus in the high schools. Do you think the advanced
> placement test in statistics will have a positive or negative
> effect on the teaching of Probability and Statistics in high
> school?
> <<<========<<

Forwarded message:
> From Thu Jul 6 10:56:04 1995
> Message-Id: <17384694@dancer.Dartmouth.EDU>
> Date: 06 Jul 95 10:50:28 EDT
> From: J.Laurie.Snell@Dartmouth.EDU (J. Laurie Snell)
> Reply-To: jlsnell@Dartmouth.EDU
> Subject: Chance News part 1 of 2 parts
> To:
> !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> CHANCE News 4.09
> (8 June 1995 to 1 July 1995)
> !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> Prepared by J. Laurie Snell, with help from William Peterson,
> Fuxing Hou, Jeanne Albert and Ma.Katrina Munoz Dy, as part of the
> CHANCE Course Project supported by the National Science
> Foundation. Please send comments and suggestions for articles to
> Back issues of Chance News and other materials for teaching a
> CHANCE course are available from the Chance Web Data Base.


| | Robert W. Hayden
| | Department of Mathematics
/ | Plymouth State College
| | Plymouth, New Hampshire 03264 USA
| * | Rural Route 1, Box 10
/ | Ashland, NH 03217
| ) (603) 968-9914

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