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Proceedings

  • The study sought teachers' views on the need to train statistics teachers in Botswana. A purposive sample comprising 23 senior teachers and 30 ordinary teachers responded to an open-ended questionnaire soliciting their experiences about the teaching of statistics in schools. It was found that all teachers offering statistics had limited qualifications to teach statistics as they have been trained for mathematics teaching. The biggest challenges in statistical instructional practices were difficulties in solving questions and explaining concepts to students. The study findings suggest the necessity to train teachers so as to empower them with statistical pedagogical content knowledge and knowledge for teaching statistics.

  • In order to meet the goal of popularizing statistical concepts in Iranian society at large, the Iranian Statistical Society (IRSS), in cooperation with the Iranian Association of Mathematics Teachers' Societies (IAMTS), have convinced the Ministry of Education to include one statistics course in the national school curriculum. Unfortunately, due to the lack of statistics specialists in the school system, this course has been usually taught by teachers of mathematics, who often confuse statistical thinking with statistical methods, and do not realize that there is a difference between mathematical and statistical reasoning. Hence we have started preparing these teachers to teach statistics using proper teaching methods. In this paper, we present the activities of the Isfahan Mathematics House (IMH) on the professional development of mathematics teachers and their impact on improvement of statistics education.

  • This paper describes the current state of teaching statistics in Ugandan schools at different levels. Different emphasis is placed on teaching statistics at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Official documents on curricula and examination make explicit statements on what statistical ideas and techniques are to be taught in schools and suggest useful skills and capabilities that school graduates should acquire, but little of the qualities are visible on the ground. There is little emphasis on the application of these techniques in the context of real life problems. Various challenges on the teaching of mathematics and statistics in schools and the school-university transition are identified, which include the curricula, the teaching force, and the nature of the students and the shortage of teaching resources. These challenges maybe addressed through synchronising students with varied mathematics school backgrounds in their study of statistics, policy adjustments and continuous professional development.

  • Much teacher training has been carried out in China since the new curriculum reform began in 2001. By analyzing a particular case of teacher training, this paper reveals how the Chinese government has organized teacher training since 2001 and shows the merits and shortcomings of this approach. The aim of the paper is to share our experiences in mass teacher training and encourage other researchers to explore their own effective approaches.

  • In the Philippines, the growing concern about the teaching of statistics at the secondary and tertiary levels is evident in various reform efforts initiated by individuals and professional groups of statisticians. This paper examines the past and on-going individual and institutional activities geared towards teacher training and preparation of statistics teachers in all levels of the Philippine educational system. It presents the Philippine experience as a good example of how the different individuals and groups work together to achieve reforms. Institutional efforts towards statistical capacity building are primarily done through the Philippine Statistical System and the Philippine Statistical Association . The challenges encountered in these reform efforts are examined as bases for recommended courses of action towards more effective institutionalization of reforms in statistics education.

  • The statistical performance on an instrument used to compare teachers' knowledge in two Central American countries is examined. The hypothesis is that there are differences in the performance of statistics items given that one country has a higher allocation of resources for education and higher level of teacher preparation in statistics. A total of 250 third and seventh grade teachers and primary pre-service teachers were surveyed from randomly selected schools in both countries. Results show that there are significant differences between countries for items measuring graphical comprehension and between seventh grade teachers and others for an item measuring statistical concepts in the context of teaching.

  • This paper outlines the successful professional development workshops provided by Canada's National Statistical Agency, Statistics Canada, for the Census at School program. Workshops for this international in-class online survey program help teachers develop statistical knowledge and teaching competencies. Workshop participants develop more positive attitudes toward statistics teaching and learning through hands-on exploration. Furthermore, by analyzing the Census at School data with TinkerPlots™ dynamic statistical software, participants learn to use technology to maximize statistical learning.

  • Through a larger initiative involving mathematical sciences faculty from the three State of Iowa Board of Regents' institutions, faculty members from the Departments of Statistics and Mathematics at Iowa State University have started a collaboration in the area of statistics training for future and current mathematics teachers. In this paper, we begin by discussing the recent developments in high school mathematics education at both the state and national level that served as a focus for change in the statistics education of mathematics teachers in the state. We then describe our present efforts in changing curriculum in statistical content and pedagogy in the undergraduate and graduate programs at Iowa State for future and current mathematics teachers. Finally, we offer some direction for future work in these regards.

  • Although the mission of mathematics education departments or programs is to prepare the next generation of secondary education mathematics teachers, the question still remains, "Who should provide the training in statistics education for these future teachers?" We propose that statistics education should be provided by statisticians in collaboration with mathematics educators. We describe a model that has been designed recognizing how statistical reasoning differs from mathematical reasoning and implemented incorporating how classroom pedagogy is consequently affected.

  • Statistics is often taught as part of the mathematical curriculum in schools by mathematics teachers who often do not feel prepared to include it in their practice. They feel that they are stealing time that would be better used if dedicated to mathematics. We believe, however, that it is possible to develop a collaboration between the teaching of mathematics and the teaching of statistics. Using statistics as a realistic context to work on certain mathematical concepts can provide significant motivation for students. To accomplish this, it is essential to highlight the mathematical concepts underlying statistical concepts in order to link them in creating classroom activities that are also useful for teacher training. In this paper, we will try to illustrate this idea starting with examples gathered in school mathematics and in basic statistics.

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