UPDATE ON THE QL PROGRAMS

Cathy Crocker
Director of Education
ASA National Office

Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
Volume 1, Number 2 (Summer 1995)


Quantitative literacy (QL) has become a well known phrase around the ASA office. The Center for Statistical Education (CSE) hopes that it is becoming a well known phrase throughout the United States. QL efforts at ASA started when the Joint Committee on the Curriculum in Statistics and Probability was formed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and ASA under the leadership of Fred Mosteller. This committee is still active today with Linda Young as the chairperson. CSE has collaborated with NCTM to produce a series of five QL projects. These projects have been sponsored by five grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

QL I led to the development and publishing of units for introducing the basics of statistics and probability to students in secondary school. These materials were written by classroom teachers, mathematics educators and statisticians and published by Dale Seymour.

QL II focused on teacher training. Training sessions were for one week during the summer with follow-up sessions during the next year. Local statisticians participated in both the training and the follow-up sessions. More than 3,000 teachers have been trained since these workshops began.

QL III, "A Data-Driven Curriculum Strand for High School Mathematics," has developed material that is presented in two-day workshops to high school mathematics supervisors and department chairpersons. One workshop was held in Manassas, Virginia in March and two were held in May - one in Texas and the other in California. Two complementary needs have been addressed in this grant: how to use data analysis to motivate essential topics in a mathematics curriculum as suggested by the NCTM standards and how to teach skills in data analysis for students to be skilled participants in society.

The elementary school population was not to be forgotten. QL IV provided funds for developing materials to enhance the QL skills of teachers in grades K-6. Five-day workshops were held in the summer of 1994 focusing on concepts in data analysis and in teaching skills, and sharing strategies and materials so teachers could weave a statistics and probability strand into the curriculum for elementary schools. One more workshop funded by NSF will be held this summer.

Materials from both QL III and QL IV are being readied for publication by Dale Seymour. All will be excellent additions to a library and invaluable resources/textbooks for teachers in grades K-12. Gail Burrill, Jim Landwehr, Dick Scheaffer, Ken Sherrick, Carolyn Bereska, Cyrilla Hergenhan, Maria Mastrematteo and many others are to be commended for their work.

QL V (Science Education And Quantitative Literacy or SEAQL) was approved and funded by the NSF in 1994. Jeff Witmer, Art Christensen and Mike Kimmel are the leaders of this project. Teams of classroom teachers have been writing material to be used this summer at a four-week workshop at Johns Hopkins University. Forty-five teachers, representing grades 6-12, will be learning how data analysis can become a part of their lessons/laboratories in chemistry, biology, earth science, physics and general science. Two follow-up sessions will be held during the school year for these teachers to share their experiences with each other and to provide direction for the summer of 1996, when two workshops will be held. Applications for those workshops will be available late in 1995.

QL continues to grow and develop. We are currently working on QL VI (Data-Centered Studies), which will involve interdisciplinary, problem-centered projects to be delivered by teams of teachers. Emphasis will be placed on hands-on activities that encourage collaborative learning and show how data analysis is an integral part of the entire curriculum. We are in "the request for funding" stage at this point.

If you are interested in materials that have been published by Dale Seymour, please e-mail us and we can send you a copy of what is available. In 1996 more materials will be available as the QL III and QL IV materials are published. We also have a roster of QL-trained teachers available to conduct workshops for teachers. For further information please contact

Cathy Crocker
ASA Office of Education
Phone: (703) 684-1221, ext. 111
FAX: (703) 684-2037
cathyc@asa.mhs.compuserve.com


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