This is a session of Topic 1: Working cooperatively in Statistics education Full topic list
(Wednesday 5th, 11:00-12:30)
Co-operative efforts involving Statistics and Mathematics education
AbstractIn this session, we should reflect on what has been achieved so far in the research on mathematical education and on statistical education and, on this basis, explore the possibility that statistics and mathematics have a positive influence on each other in order to favour efficient learning of both disciplines for the students.
An issue to be considered in the session is that, at school level, statistics is generally part of the mathematics curriculum. This demands that the same teacher should have domain-specific expert knowledge in both disciplines and the capability of a flexible orchestration of two quite different ways of reasoning. A question to be addressed, then, is how teachers could help their students appreciate the different features of statistical and mathematical reasoning.
Another aspect that might be worthy to consider is connected to the role that mathematics plays in statistics.
As regards to motivation and attitude, factors that strongly influence the quality of any learning process, it is known that students lack of interest for statistics is closely linked with the students aversion to mathematics, seen often as a dry, abstract, useless subject. On the other hand, there is some evidence that statistical learning could be an enjoyable experience. It could be, then, advantageous to link pure mathematics teaching to statistics and moreover, to enhance mathematics teaching by placing it in a ‘statistics environment’. Contributions on how to build relationships between statistics and mathematics that increase motivation and give the students an appreciation of the usefulness of both subjects are welcomed.
Learning statistics inevitably requires some basic mathematic skills. Even at an elementary level deep mathematical concepts are involved that the research on mathematical education points out as difficult (for example, measure, scale of measurements, ratio, etc.). Turning things around, as it is recognized that making mathematical connections is among the more difficult to achieve, it could be interesting to explore whether statistics could contribute to an insightful learning of mathematical problematical, basic concepts.