(Thursday 17th, 09:15-10:15) Chair: Roxy Peck
On the relationships between statistics and other subjects in the K-12 curriculum
- Zalman Usiskin (University of Chicago)
Sixty years ago, statistics barely touched the school experience of a typical student. In the study of social science, students might encounter data. In a science laboratory experience, students might collect data. In a mathematics classroom, students would be expected to know how to calculate the mean of a data set. In contrast, today it is becoming prevalent to expect increasing numbers of students to learn several measures of central tendency and spread, to encounter theoretical and actual distributions, and to discuss topics such as randomness, statistical tests, and statistical significance that in the past were introduced at the college level. As one of the mathematical sciences, the more intensive study of statistics in grades K-12 naturally has been considered as a part of the school mathematics curriculum. This has great advantages, as mathematics is the second most important academic school subject, behind reading and language arts. But as statistics has become more important, its connections with everyday literacy, science, and the social sciences suggest consideration of statistics across the curriculum in addition to a reconsideration of its relationships with classical mathematical areas of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and analysis.