The present paper is part of an ongoing research about the problems of
different methodologies employed to teach statistics in undergraduate
courses in general. Taking into account the approaches of statistics contents,
which in general consider the basic background of the discipline and as
such, they never indicate the need to base on the statistics scientific
concepts themselves and likewise statistics discipline itself carries
on fulfilling a mediating role between sciences in general and their scientific
applications. Reason for this: there is a complete absence of a more
elaborated teaching methodology of statistics. We intend to show that
through theoretical presuppositions, the present difficulties relating
statistics to the other areas of the knowledge is due to an undefinition
of a teaching methodology, not only in undergraduate courses, but also
in post-graduate courses and research itself. Besides, this situation
experienced by the statistics discipline is very peculiar indeed, mainly
when we try to relate it to the other areas of science and this can be
seen in the field of mathmatics, which has its own teaching methodologies
when such metholodogies are applied in different teaching areas. Bearing
this in mind, it is reasonable to assume that the approach of statistics
contents in both undergraduate and post-graduate courses could require
its own scientific foundation and therefore, a more theoretical definition
of its concepts and applications, which, as a consequence, are intrinsic
part of the statistics itself.
We think that either each undergradute course or scientific area of study
needs contents that may be applied according its specific scientific goals
and likewise it is important for the statistics discipline and necessary
for the science itself that teaching methodologies could scientifically
be studied. Also, in doing so, not only this could characterize the statistics
discipline as a mere mathematical application or even as a relative data
value, but also it could be characterized for its recognized scientific
value in the decision making process.
By approaching these topics, this paper is an attempt to fill in this
gap as already recognized many times ago, which relates to the teaching
planning of statistics in both undergraduate and post-graduate courses
as a whole.
The teaching of statistics has been either frequently and in many aspects
guided by common sense or based upon the experience of mature "self-learning"lectures.
In short, this gap is basically related to the lack of theoretical support
clearly defined, which, in turn, could be able to help the teaching job
in his/her specific knowledge area.