Maria-Gabriella Ottaviani
Universita' di Roma "La Sapienza"
President, IASE

Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
Volume 4, Number 2 - Summer 1998)

Many ASA members are or have been deeply involved with the IASE. Current ASA president, David Moore, was the first President of the IASE. Richard Scheaffer made substantial contributions to the growth of the IASE, by serving two terms as Vice-President after being a member of the Transitional Committee that steered the new Association from 1991 to 1993. Mary H. Regier was the Editor of the IASE pages in the ISI Newsletter in the same period, while Joan Garfield is the current Editor of the publication, in her capacity as one of the four Vice Presidents of the Association. Kenneth Bryson was Membership Vice-President in the Transitional Committe period.

Now let me introduce the IASE to you. It is the newest section of the International Statistical Institute, as it was born in Cairo in 1991. IASE is devoted to the development and improvement of statistical education on a worldwide basis. The Association membership is formed by those whose interests or professional activities include:

  1. Teaching statistics at a primary or secondary school

  2. Teaching statistics in a college, technical institute, or university

  3. Teaching, or developing software for statistical computing

  4. Teaching statistics, including quality improvement methods, in business or industry

  5. Training statistical staff for government statistical offices, or

  6. Developing statistical textbooks, audio-visual materials, or curricula.

This year is a very important one for the IASE. On June 21-26, 1998, in Singapore, the most important international event in the scientific life of the Association will take place: the Fifth International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS 5). The ICOTS 5 theme is: Statistical Education - Expanding the Network. The Conference's general objectives being to provide opportunities for educators throughout the world to expand their networks in statistical education and encourage a worldwide exchange of ideas. The Proceedings of the Conference will be distributed at the meeting and copies may be purchased through the ISI (International Statistics Institute) for those who are not able to attend ICOTS 5. There are three volumes with approximately 1,500 pages. Papers are grouped according to the eight main topics of the Conference:

  1. Statistical education at the school level, (Elementary level, secondary level, teacher training, local teachers)

  2. Statistical education at the post-secondary level (Introductory statistics, mathematical statistics, design and analysis of experiments, regression and correlation, Bayesian methods, sample survey design and analysis)

  3. Statistical education for people in the workplace (Statistical consultancy, continuing education, distance education, total quality)

  4. Statistical education and the wider society (Statistical Societies, statistical literacy, publications, legal contexts)

  5. An international perspective on statistical education (African region, Asian region, Spanish speaking countries, other developing regions)

  6. Research in teaching statistics (School levels, post-secondary levels, probability)

  7. The role of technology in the teaching of statistics (Software design, teaching experiments, graphics calculators, visualization, research, multimedia and WWW)

  8. Other determinants and developments in statistical education (Cultural/historical factors, learning factors, gender factors, projects/ competitions).

With these volumes it will be possible to have the best and most up-to-date findings regarding the activity and research on statistical education.

Activities planned in 1999 include the IASE Sessions in the ISI's 52nd biennial meeting which will take place in Helsinki (Finland), August 10-18,1999. One session is co-organized with the International Association for Official Statistics. Listed below are the topics and organizers:

  1. Statistical Education and the Significance Tests Controversy, C. Batanero []

  2. Teaching and Training Multivariate Data Analysis H. Bacelar-Nicolau []

  3. Statistical Education Using Flexible Learning Approaches, A. Di Ciaccio []

  4. Statistical Education for Life, A. Hawkins []

  5. Issues Involved in the Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning of Statistics, J. Garfield []

  6. Visualization as an Educational Tool, L. Weldon []

  7. Statistical Training for People Working in and with Official Statistics, C. Blumberg [] and R. Smulders []

As usual, contributed paper sessions are also included at the ISI Meeting. Contributed papers concerning teaching statistics submitted by ASA members are particularly encouraged.

2000 will be the year of the IASE Round Table in Japan on the intriguing theme: Training Researchers in the Use of Statistics. Thanks to contacts established with the Statistical Education Committee of the Japan Statistical Society, this meeting will be held at the Meiji University, which is located in the central area of Tokyo. Carmen Batanero [] will be the Chair of the Scientific Committee of the Round Table.

In June the IASE Executive Committee will meet in Singapore and important decisions will be made concerning other forthcoming events. The representative of the IASE on the ISI Programme Coordinating Committee for the 53rd Session in Seoul, 2001, will be appointed, the venue for ICOTS 6, in 2002 is to be chosen and a new ICOTS will begin to be planned once again.

If you are interested in joining other colleagues in an international network, please get in touch with the IASE. Please take an opportunity to view the web site:, which includes an introduction to the ISI and the IASE. Lists are available of the Executive Committee and current IASE National Correspondents. The complete IASE membership directory has just been up-dated and is also available on the web site. If you are interested in a membership application to the IASE, you may find it on the web site along with a list of member's benefits. For new subscribers (while stocks last) a special offer is available which consists of a free book The Assessment Challenge in Statistics Education, edited by I. Gal and J. Garfield, IOS Press, 1997, 294 pages, hardcover.

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