Examples have long been an integral component of statistics teachers' instructional repertoires<br>but tend to be in the background of pedagogical knowledge. We explore the diverse ways that<br>university statistics educators use examples, drawing on data from recent research (Gordon, Reid<br>& Petocz, 2007). Three overlapping categories are proposed: examples are developed and<br>presented by educators in basic instruction, examples are generated by students, under teacher<br>direction, to aid learning and examples connect statistics with students' future professional work.<br>Expressions in the second category were sparse suggesting an opportunity for statistics educators<br>to develop teaching. We review models of exemplification in mathematics education and relate<br>these to the empirical findings to begin the development of a framework for characterising<br>examples in statistics education. We conclude that examples help promote statistical literacy.