This paper is from Session 2D: Statistical education at the Secondary/Higher Education interface
which comes under Topic 2: Statistics education at school level
(Tuesday 15th, 13:45-15:15)
What did they learn? Statistics skills: from French secondary school to university
- Alain Bihan-Poudec (Catholic University of the West, Angers, France)
- Philippe Dutarte (Academic Inspection Créteil, France)
The statistics curriculum in the French Secondary schools is evolving. According to the French Education Ministry’s Instructions, the statistics courses are cursory and essentially descriptive in middle school, while the high school curriculum is oriented towards inferential statistics. However, the limited amount of time available for teaching statistics and the teachers’ lack of training lead to the following question: what do students learn about statistics? Our own practice teaching statistics at university and our previous research lead us to put forward a few answers. Overall, undergraduate students in Humanities and Social Sciences associate statistics with mathematics, numbers, calculus, percentages, though interesting exceptions do exist. Regarding the basic notions themselves, it seems that: algorithmic conceptions prevail over the meaning of concepts; and difficulties in learning and understanding statistics are linked with the secondary school curriculum.