Orlando Meetings: Presentation Summary

Back to Orlando: Pre-Service Teacher Ed

This is the summary of a presentation given at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, January 10-13, 1996, Orlando, Florida.

Hands-On Data Analysis

The NCTM Curriculum and Evaluation Standards recommend the teaching of significant amounts of probability and statistics at all grade levels. While this is certainly an appropriate suggestion, it poses significant challenges for many teachers at the elementary level who have had inadequate, at best, preparation in these areas. In order to interrupt the cycle of teachers passing on their own math anxiety to their students, it is necessary to provide a series of positive experiences for current and future teachers in statistics and probability. A very successful Eisenhower-funded program at Xavier University has enabled teachers to learn appropriate topics in a non-threatening environment so that they can return to their classrooms well prepared to meet the needs of their students. The same methods have been used in general university courses as well as those specifically for preservice teachers. This presentation will describe and demonstrate several of those techniques involving basic methods for understanding histograms, circle graphs, box plots, and measures of central tendency. The presenters will show ways to use post-it notes, tractor-feed scrap from continuous form printers, yarn, and other inexpensive, easily-obtained materials. The purpose is to explain straightforward concepts using the procedures that an elementary level teacher might employ.

Dr. David C. Flaspohler
Department of Mathematics
Xavier University
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45207-4441

Dr. Ann L. Dinkheller
Project Discovery
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45207-4441

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