Keynote 5 (Friday 13th, 9:30–10:30) Chair:
Combining 360 degree reflections for looking forward
- Helen MacGillivray (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
Looking back and analysing the past is crucially important in moving forwards in teaching statistics and in statistical education - individually, organisationally, nationally and internationally. For statistics, we must also look sideways, upwards and downwards, and bring these reflections and analyses together. This is not only because statistics intertwines with, and plays key roles in, almost all other disciplines, and across government, business, industry and society, but also because of the nature of statistics and its thinking. Capturing, allowing for, analysing, interpreting and communicating variability and uncertainty can often sit uneasily with the very human tendency to want answers, certainty and definite reasons. In addition, both the bad and good effects of research emphasis, whether in statistics, education or other disciplines, must be considered.
This presentation aims to identify and bring together some lessons from the past, from interactions with other disciplines, and across all educational levels. Just as we learn much about students’ needs from observing, listening, and reading their writings, so too we learn about the needs behind the wants of other disciplines, and of all those who teach statistics. Hence this presentation also aims to bring together lessons from students, from teachers and from authors’ submissions on teaching statistics. In the teaching of statistics, there can never be a single path or way forward due to the diversity and very nature of statistics. But sprinkled with advocacy from professional statisticians and statistics educators, and served with tolerance, understanding and authentic collaboration, such combinations may help throw light on the pathways forward.