A Curriculum Focused on Data Analysis

Introducing Data Analysis in the Schools: Who Should Teach it and How? International Statistical Institute Round Table Conference, August 1992, Quebec, Canada
Burrill, G.
Pereira-Mendoza, L.
International Statistical Institute
Voorburg, Netherlands

The need for mathematically literate students who can function on a technology driven society, together with the demonstrated lack of success of the current mathematics curriculum, has paved the way for major reform efforts in mathematics in the United States. One of the reform documents, Reshaping School Mathematics, a philosophy and framework for curricular change published by the National Research Council (1990), suggests, "Most obvious, perhaps is the need to understand data presented in a variety of different formats.... Citizens who cannot properly interpret quantitative data are, in this day and age, functionally illiterate" (p. 8). Leading proponents of change to school mathematics, including the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the Mathematics Science Education Board, emphasize that data analysis must be a key component of a revitalized curriculum if mathematics is to relate to the practical world of the student and if it is to provide the necessary skills for living in an information age. This paper describes the NSF funded project: " A Data Driven Curriculum," for students in grades 9 - 12. The project addresses two needs: how to use data analysis to motivate some of the essential topics of a restructured mathematics curriculum, and how to identify and teach those data analysis skills that are required for effective participation in society.

The CAUSE Research Group is supported in part by a member initiative grant from the American Statistical Association’s Section on Statistics and Data Science Education