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Presentation 3I1. A Statistics Course for Elementary and Middle School Teachers

Mike Perry (USA)
Gary Kader (USA)


Presentation Abstract

The Learning Math Project

LEARNING MATH, produced by WGBH with funding from the Annenberg/CPB Math and Science Project, is a series of five college-level courses designed to teach mathematics content to elementary and middle school teachers. The courses emphasize the content that underlies the elementary and middle school curriculum and are organized around the newly-revised content standards developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The five courses are (1) Number and Operation; (2) Patterns, Functions, and Algebra; (3) Geometry and Spatial Sense; (4) Measurement; and (5) Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability. They are video based component and are available through a web site so that they may be used for distance learning.

The courses can be used in a variety of ways. They may be offered individually or as a package (1) by a college or university, or (2) by a professional development unit of a school system. In cases such as these there would be a facilitator for each course.

The Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability Course

The goal of this course is to help teachers better understand statistics itself, pushing beyond surface familiarity to promote a deeper knowledge of the content that underlies elementary and middle school curricula. A central objective is to provide engaging explorations of statistics that encourage participants and viewers to see statistics as a problem solving process which is substantially more than a rote sets of rules and procedures. The course encourages statistical thinking skills and the concepts underlying statistical problem solving and techniques. Learning Math courses are content courses, but they are content courses which encourage particular ways of learning and teaching. The course presents content for teachers through activities and explorations which (1) involve statistical problem-solving or (2) investigation of statistical concepts. The course places a continual emphasis on the central role of data and the use of different data representations in statistical problem solving.

Nine 30 minute videos follow an actual class of teachers through each of the content class sessions, with footage edited to highlight critical statistical concepts and to expose and address common misconceptions. Each video presents comments from the students about the ideas in the class, and also includes an interview with a professional statistician who discusses how ideas in the class session are being used in a real world application.

The Website provides a course of nine lessons which parallels the nine videos. Each website lesson features parts of the videos and an interactive activity as well as text and Illustrations.
Excerpts from the videos and the website will be used in the ICOTS presentation to give a more detailed description of the organization of the course, it's purposes and it's content and learning style.


Download in Adobe Acrobat format (114 Kb).


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