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This is a session of Topic 5: Statistics education and the wider society             Full topic list

(Thursday 6th, 14:00-15:30)

Psychological and social issues in the teaching of statistics



At one level, teaching statistics can be approached from the standpoint of the subject as a branch of mathematics. That point of view often carries with it an emphasis on deeply theoretical matters involving proof and demonstration with relatively little in the way of motivating examples of its use. Students embarking on the study of statistics from that theoretical point of view are often well grounded in mathematics and confident of their ability to master the subject.

The other point of view tends to be grounded in statistics as providing sets of tools that find application in education, business, health and the social sciences. For some students approaching statistics from that direction, their preparation in mathematics or, at least, their confidence in using mathematically based ideas and logic may afford unique challenges to us as teachers.

This session seeks to promote work grounding the teaching of statistics to its application in social and psychological issues and to explicitly motivating its study for students who might otherwise tend to view it as an inaccessible or, even, arcane science. Presentations will range from those focusing on the learning of statistics in particular contexts (AIDS, economic development, social issues, etc.) to those making explicit efforts to help students overcome attitudes that may impede their learning.


PaperTitlePresenter(s) / Author(s)
5H1Using examples related to HIV/AIDS to enhance understanding of Statistical theory and of social implications of StatisticsJacky Galpin (South Africa)
5H2A comparative study of the effects of motivational and attitudinal factors on studying StatisticsMonique Bijker (Netherlands)
Gabriƫlle Wynants
Johan Anton Van Buuren (Netherlands)