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APStats credit
Posted:
Jan 29, 1997 11:40 PM


Bob Hayden notes: >There are places where these decisions are made on some sort of status basis.
Actually, the APStat exam is much more subversive than most folks realize. Statistics is an extraordinary field. Most professions that require a PhD to practice at the highest level are taught at the University level only by those who have earned that degree in the field. The thought that a bestselling (say) economics text could be written by a (say) physicist is absurd. Likewise, a mathematician would not dare to teach a sociology course just because she had read a few introductory books and had some courses as a student. Yet nonstatisticians write statistics texts (including some that sell quite well) and nonstatisticians teach statistics in many different departments throughout most universities and colleges.
As you might expect, statistics courses (even introductory courses) taught by nonstatisticians from texts written by nonstatisticians deviate (to a greater or lesser degree) from courses designed by professionals taught from books written by statisticians. Fortunately, the APStats course has been designed by some of the best experts we have in teaching statistics.
Tens of thousands of Freshmen with APStats credits in hand based on a competent course are about to confront all those nonstatistician "statistics" teachers. I expect that we will see some reform in the teaching of statistics at the University level to bring the introductory courses up to the quality of the APStat course and to bring those that need it uptodate in terms of the pedagogical value of motivating learning from realworld experiences and of using computer and multimedia technology effectively.
(Tell your students not to be intimidated when they get to college. If they score a 4 or 5 on the AP exam, they had a better stats course than the vast majority of introductory courses taught at the university level, and they ought to get credit for it.)
Should be interesting to watch...
 Paul Velleman



