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ERIC Number: EJ891795
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-0045-0685
Reasoning, Not Recipes: Helping Your Students Develop Statistical Understanding and Enjoy the Experience!
Mooney, Gai
Australian Mathematics Teacher, v66 n2 p22-24 2010
Statistics is often presented to students as a series of algorithms to be learnt by heart and applied at the appropriate time to get "the correct answer". This approach, while it may in fact produce the right answer, has been shown to be minimally effective at helping students understand the underlying statistical concepts. As Holmes noted, "Statistics is not just a set of techniques, it is an attitude of mind in approaching data". Statistical concepts are much more easily grasped when the data used is real and the context is real to the students. The CensusAtSchool (C@S) resource from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is real data that are interesting and engaging for students. The C@S questionnaire contains questions relating to physical characteristics, such as height, arm span, foot size; behaviour, such as amount of sleep, breakfast habits, favourite sport; and attitudes, such as water use, pollution, and bullying of students. There is also an interactive concentration game and a reaction time game. In addition, a student can download many classroom activities and suggestions to help him/her successfully use C@S. This article presents some examples that show some further ways C@S data can be used to engage students and improve statistical understanding across many year levels. (Contains 3 figures.)
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A