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  • Although variability is of fundamental concern and interest to statisticians, often this does not get communicated to students who are taught instead to view variability as a nuisance parameter. A brief survey of a few case studies, as well as a recounting of some history, shows that variability is worthy of study in its own right, and examination of variability leads to insights that might have been missed had we focused all of our attention on the "trend" of the data. As on of the key components of statistical thinking, variability deserves more prominence in the classroom.

  • The research studies presented in this special issue have serveral common features. Their topics reflect the shift in emphasis in statistics instruction, from statistical techniques, formulas, and procedures to developing statistical reasoning and thinking. These studies employ various types of qualitative methodologies, which appear to have uncovered many interesting points about how students and teachers reason about variability. Most of them use extended teaching experiments, or represent cases where researchers collaborated with teachers in field settings or designed specialized learning episodes or environments, to be able to elicit detailed and deep data about students' actions and reasoning.

  • In 1993 the new government of the Ukraine confirmed conception of the transition of the National Ukrainian Statistics to the International Standards. Now the Ukraine has transition from planned to market economy in the areas of productive forces, structure of economy, the integration of economy to international economy and the social role of the state institutions. The three stage planned realisation of the conception are:<br><br>1) Preparatory. It is determined of organisational, methodical, fundamental, essential principals of the transition of the Ukrainian statistics to international standards.<br>2) Transitional. Then these principles are introduced (take root) to practice of statistics.<br>3) Final. It is attainment integration of all the sphere of the statistical activity.<br>Now Ukrainian statistics have come to the second level.<br><br>The important task for Ukraine is the training of specialists of the Economic Statistics required for the market economy. Therefore the content of teaching Economic Statistics has transition to the International Standards. Knowledge about international statistics is need for specialists of economics, management, statistics, international economy and other. I have elaborated the course of International Economic Statistics for the students of Universities of Economics of Ukraine. In this paper only the problems of the statistics of population, labour, industry, agriculture, trade, prices and the Systems of National Accounts are considered.

  • August has come and a lotof you have joined ICOTS II, the Second International Conference on Teaching Statistics. Some may attribute credit to "Footie", but we are indebed to the ISI Task Force for Conferences on the Teaching of Statistis and to the conference Organizing and Program Committees.<br><br>ICOTS I and this conference have been preceded and interlocked iwth various other conferences, workshops, and meeting sessions ont he teaching of statistics and statistical consulting. This attests to our concerns with the teaching of statistics and the training of statisticians, concerns healthy for the discipline and suggestive of a continuing search for excellence. One may wonder what remains to be said, but reminders and reappraisals are helpful and the nature of our discipline and its setting continue to evolve.

  • As teachers, most of us enourage the students in our classes to come to us during special office hours if they wish to receive extra help. Many students feel that they should not "waste" the teachers' time with their questions. Others may feel embarrassed to ask questions in a one-to-one setting. Whatever the reason a student may have, we have felt that students who really need help frequently do not get help through the office-hour channel. We have tried to provide a variety of sources of extra help for students. In this paper we will describe the sources of help and summarize how students utilized these sources over the course of the semester.

  • For a quick and overall assessment of data sets, graphical methods are used extensively. Graphic statistics are devices for representing or summarizing numerical data or information. In this paper, some relatively new techniques, frequently referred to as methods of exploratory data analysis, are dicussed and illstrated with numerical examples.

  • The standard error of measurement (SEM) is the standard deviation of errors of measrement that are associated with test scores from a particular groups of examinees. When used to calculate confidence bands atound obtained test scores, it can be helpful in expressing the unreliability of indicidual test scores in an understandable way. Score bands can also be used to interpret intrainducidual and interindicidual score differences. Interprester should be wary of over-interpretaion when using approximations for correctly calculated score bands. It is recommened that SEMs at various score levels be used in calculating score bands rather than a single SEM value.

  • The topic of test reliability is about the relative consistency of test scores and other educational and psychological measurements. In this module, the idea of consistency is illustrated with reference to two sets of test scores. A mathematical model is developed to explain both relative consistency and relative inconsistency of measurements. A means of indexing reliability is derived using the model. Practical methods of estimating reliability indices are considered, together with factors that influence the reliability index of a set of measurements and the interpretation that can be made of that index.

  • The papers in this book are intended to evaluate the achievements of Chinese statisticians, in both the theoretical and applied fields, during the ten-year period beginning from the late seventies. These papers provide selected information about this question, rather than a complete picture of statistics in China. Yet we strongly believe that the articles presented here will enable the reader to grasp some unique features of the development and nature of statistics in China.

  • I am inclined to believe that despite the different settings in which statisticians work, it is nevertheless important for them to be aware of good teaching and learning techniques, so that they may continue in their own lifelong learning, dealing with the continual increase of new information to be learned, and also so that they may teach others, whether in an academic stetting with students or in another type of setting in government or industry. To this end, I think that course work and experience in teaching should be required of all graduate students in statistics, as well as for students in other disciplines.<br><br>However, I have some concerns about teacher training programs that focus exclusively on lesson plans, syllabi, handouts, and lectures. In deeping with the suffestions for good teaching I have described, I would like to see teacher training programs help graduate students learn about the teaching and learning process, learn now to develop adn facilitate cooperative learning actrivities, become experienced with the role of assessment (and alternative forms of assessment), and learn about current ways of improce teaching in their discipline (that is, the use of software as a teaching tool, the use of pojects, and so on). The development of programs such as these could lead to a new generation of improved statistics teachers and statisticians who are able to work more effectively in any type of setting. I look forward to seeing this happen.

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