ERIC Number: EJ890111
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jul
Reference Count: 2
Learning by Doing or Learning by Studying the History of Statistics? A Response to "The Sociology of Teaching Graduate Statistics"
Teaching Sociology, v33 n3 p272-274 Jul 2005
This article presents the author's response to Timothy Patrick Moran's article "The Sociology of Teaching Graduate Statistics." Since 1972, the author has taught the required graduate-level social statistics course in three different departments. During this time, he has seen the truth of the concerns that Moran expresses at the beginning of his article; the foundation course must cover more ground than ever before, and computer software has become much easier to use. However, the author has drawn different implications from these trends than the ones suggested by Professor Moran. His decisions about how to teach the foundation course have been driven by his judgment of what the students most need to learn during their first year of graduate social statistics. The author mentions that his response has been to focus the course around statistical techniques that will be broadly useful for the work the students are preparing to do on their dissertations and in their part published articles. In addition, some of Professor Moran's assumptions are questionable. Sociological theory is at best peripheral and usually irrelevant to understanding these controversies. Further, it is unlikely that students will be able to understand the issues argued about and the positions taken by various factions as these controversies developed historically.
Descriptors: Experiential Learning, Doctoral Dissertations, Computer Software, Sociology, Statistics, Teaching Methods, Graduate Study, College Faculty
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
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