ERIC Number: ED455195
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Teachers' Ideas about Teaching Statistics.
Begg, Andy; Edwards, Roger
This research investigated notions raised in the literature about teachers' lack of statistical background and knowledge. It focused on four assumptions: elementary school teachers have a rich source of ideas about statistics from their everyday teaching experiences; they have a greater understanding of statistics than they are often given credit for; their ideas influence their teaching; and their ideas about teaching statistics are closely influenced by their ideas about teaching mathematics. Participants were 22 practicing New Zealand elementary teachers and 12 preservice teachers. Data collection included unstructured, semi-structured, and clinical interviews, surveys, and concept maps. Results indicated that all of the respondents' initial attitudes toward statistics were negative. Very few had formal training in statistics in school and had weakly developed concepts of probability, showing reliance on prior beliefs. Over 70% of the study group participants indicated they interpreted the word "average' in a general or everyday sense. They considered graphs communicative tools. Most teachers recognized the cross-curriculum nature of statistics, though most taught it as a unit of mathematics. All teachers in the study group considered statistics important for primary school children to learn. Most teachers felt reasonably confident teaching statistics. (SM)
Descriptors: Elementary Education, Elementary School Teachers, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Knowledge Base for Teaching, Preservice Teacher Education, Statistics, Student Teacher Attitudes, Student Teachers, Teacher Competencies
For full text: http://www.aare.edu.au/99pap/beg99082.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand