ERIC Number: ED414288
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Understanding Education Statistics: It's Easier (and More Important) Than You Think. Concerns in Education Series.
Bracey, Gerald W.
The days in which the school practitioner could get by without a knowledge of statistics are over. Educators today need to be able to evaluate data, and data are statistics. It is necessary to deal with statistics when they appear and to provide them when they are needed or expected. This book attempts to provide an understanding of statistics, the reasons educators might use them, and some warnings about their use. Statistics may be categorized as descriptive, used to describe, or inferential, used to make inferences or draw conclusions. The following chapters discuss topics of interest to educators: (1) "Why Do I Need Statistics?"; (2) "The Two Types of Statistics: Descriptive and Inferential"; (3) "Measures of Central Tendency: Mean, Median, and Mode"; (4) "Measures of Dispersion"; (5) "Correlation and Its Discontents"; (6) "Statistical Significance"; (7) "Rank vs. Performance"; (8) "Rate vs. Numbers"; (9) "Percentile Ranks, Grade Equivalents, and Normal Curve Equivalents"; (10) "Seeing through Graphs"; (11) "Reading through Statistical Prose"; and (12) "Not Really the End." If statistics dealt only with theoretical ideas, then it wouldn't be so important that they not be misused. Schools, however, are not theoretical and neither are children. Using data appropriately and being able to respond appropriately are important for educators. (Contains 20 figures.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Methods, Research Methodology, Statistical Analysis, Statistics, User Needs (Information)
Educational Research Service, 2000 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201; phone: 800-791-9308; fax: 800-791-9309 (subscriber price, $8; nonsubscriber price, $16; add the larger of $3.50 or 10% of purchase price for postage and handling).
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Educational Research Service, Arlington, VA.