Wednesday 01 May 2013Statistical Learning Thresholds and Steps

Helen MacGillivray - International Statistical Institute, Queensland University of Technology

Plymouth University, Room TBC 16:00-17:00

Statistics is about problem-solving in contexts involving uncertainty, variation and the need for data for evidence-based reasoning. Equipment for such problem-solving includes thinking and procedures appropriate for the educational level, and confidence in their implementation. Statistical literacy requires confidence in understanding the reporting of statistics and statistical problem-solving. Experiential learning in contexts authentic to the learner develops such confidence, but it also requires threshold appreciation of the concepts and principles of statistical thinking and processes. The necessary extent of confidence and understanding depend on the student's educational level, but the steps as students progress, require consolidation of the threshold concepts within the broadening and deepening of the educational contexts from school through to the workplace or undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

As variation, uncertainty and data are omnipresent in life and all disciplines, it is particularly important that the development of the statistical 'story' is coherent and purposeful, connected with everyday experiences and real data, linking with other disciplines and students' current and future learning, and with applications and models, probability and data, in partnership and harmony with each other. This presentation discusses statistical thresholds common to all disciplines, and the steps requiring consolidation across educational levels for the development of real and meaningful statistical and probabilistic thinking for life and work. In discussing these points, this talk also demonstrates how 'greater' statistics (Chambers, 1993) and real probability are not only fields for rich learning but also facilitate rewarding teaching.

For more information contact Luciana Dalla Valle (luciana.dallavalle@plymouth.ac.uk).

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