Proceedings

  • It is my intention to demonstrate in a very pragmatic way that statistics is a subject of vital importance; it enters substantially into the quantitative content of many (if not all) other professional studies. Statistical information is pervasive: a detailed analysis of The New York Times newspaper for Saturday 22 May 1982 will leave us in little doubt of this fact. The intelligent reading of such a newspaper, or of any other current information material, therefore makes a basic grounding in statistics essential for all citizens. This premise leads very naturally to a discussion of what a common core of statistical training should consist of, and how it might best be imparted to students in schools and colleges throughout the world.

  • STATISTICS in the title means more than simple descriptive statistics such as representing children born in a given month or families with a dog or a cat by piled up matchboxes and the like. But it means less than any serious inferential statistics, if only because CURRICULUM FOR EVERYBODY in the title is meant to be the one implement in the first four grades of every Hungarian school six to ten years old, where statistics, in fact, appears at every grade level along with combinatorics and probability, as also in the subsequent fifth to eighth school year, where the implementation is still under way, and also because YOUNG CHILDREN are meant to be the said six to ten years old though most classroom examples will be related to a particular class of third graders in Offenbach, West Germany, nine year olds on average, with whom I decided to gather some fresh experiences while preparing this talk. As for the TEACHERS, I have in mind mainly those I regularly meet in Hungary during in-service training courses. But the bulk of what I am going to say is about children.

  • The influence of Japanese statisticians on the teaching of statistics has been insignificant; we still have no research and teaching institute such as a Department of Statistics in Japanese Universities. The following are examples of our efforts and indications of the improvement in the environment and the quality of statistical teaching in Japan.

  • The business world offers many opportunities for statisticians, especially in advising decision-making processes. Elementary school age youngsters in their everyday lives also are confronted with decision situations, some with a business flavor, where a rudimentary understanding of statistics may prove useful. However, the pedagogical concerns of making the study of these situations accessible at an early age often prohibits consideration until the problems can be discussed on a high mathematical level. Consider, for example, the classic "Newsboy's Problem" concerning a newspaper seller attempting to maximize profit. Children can appreciate such a problem; indeed they may have paper routes or operate newspaper stands themselves. SHUNDA'S NEWSSTAND provides an excellent example of how an operations research problem involving statistics in a decision-making context can be presented at the elementary school level. A second example described involves Population Growth.

  • Since 1976 the authors have been engaged in a systematic investigation of the cognitive effects of games on mathematics learning. This investigation focused on identifying effective uses of games so that recommendations for appropriate incorporation of games into school practices can be made.

  • This paper discusses Statistics Education at elementary schools in Japan and presents curriculum goals and guidelines.

  • In this paper I intend to propose some arguments in favour of Descriptive Statistics (DS) in the school curriculum. I think every pupil has to learn some elementary procedures, skills and concepts concerning gathering, representation, summarization, characterizing, analyzing and interpretation of data. The main aim of this paper is to convince teachers in Secondary Schools both of the importance and teachability of DS; therefore, I will give some practical suggestions too. Let me present my paper in the form of 5 theses; the first 4 may be called descriptive and the 5th prescriptive.

  • Statistics is not at present taught to French 11 to 15 year olds. Syllabuses do not require it and text books offer very few activities or exercises bearing on statistics. Very simple statistical sequences may be found in some books, in the sections on proportionality, percentages or reading graphs. This paper presents research supporting the development of the teaching of statistics in secondary schools.

  • Since 1976 the authors have been engaged in a systematic investigation of the cognitive effects of mathematics instructional games. From the outset the research has focused on identifying effective uses of games in order that recommendations for appropriate incorporation of games into mathematics instruction can be made. Three studies described indicated that games seem effective in improving student performance at cognitive levels. Suggestions for future research are offered.

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