Newsletter of the Section on Statistical Education Section of the American Statistical Association


Contents of Volume 5 Number 2:

  • Message from the Section Chair
  • Editors
  • Subscription Information
  • Mark your calendar
  • Attention K-12 School Members
  • Detroit Conference on Statistics Education
  • An Overview of the Statistical Education Program for JSM 1999 in Baltimore
  • Tools for Teaching and Assessing
  • Report on the 77th Annual Meeting of NCTM
  • Take a local AP Statistics Teacher to Lunch
  • FACULTY DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP From PRE-STAT
  • Second Biennial Midwest Conference on Teaching Statistics
  • Beyond AP Statistics: a course for experienced teachers
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    MESSAGE FROM THE SECTION CHAIR

    Christine E. McLaren
    University of California, Irvine

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 5, Number 2 (Summer 1999)


    Now is the time to finalize your plans for Baltimore! Brad Hartlaub, our 1999 Program Chair, has organized a superb program for our section. Scheduled throughout the meeting are invited paper sessions, special contributed sessions, regular contributed sessions, and contributed posters. In addition there are ten roundtable discussions organized by Tom Short, our 2000 Program Chair. For these roundtables, you'll have a chance to eat lunch with expert discussion leaders. And you'll be able to talk to other statisticians who share an interest in your chosen topic. General themes that will be featured throughout the program include statistical literacy, introductory statistics courses, mathematics education reform, AP statistics, outreach projects, and multimedia resources. Details about these sessions can be found in Brad's article in this newsletter. Many thanks to Brad and Tom for their hard work in organizing this year's program.

    We hope to see you at the annual Business Meeting, Wednesday, August 11, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Please consult your JSM 99 program for the meeting place. We've planned a business meeting and a mixer. You’ll have a chance to meet other section members and to contribute to the business topics.

    Our newsletter editors have packed this issue with information about conferences, seminars, and workshops. Dave Fluharty describes the successful conference on "Statistical Education, Mathematics Standards, and the Meaning of Statistics" held in April at Wayne State University. An impressive list of speakers addressed a broad spectrum of topics, including the role of statistics in the K-12 curriculum, revised NCTM Standards for Statistics, and research on student understanding of statistical concepts.

    In his report on the 77th Annual Meeting of NCTM, Dick Scheaffer notes that the sessions reflected a strong emphasis on statistics and probability. Some sessions and several day-long workshops concentrated on AP Statistics. Clearly this recent initiative has been a popular one with students. Over 15,000 students took the exam in 1998 and 23,000 are expected to take it this year. In her article, "Take a local AP Statistics Teacher to Lunch", Roxy Peck encourages us to support teachers of AP Statistics.

    I'll see you in Baltimore!

    Christine E. McLaren
    University of California, Irvine
    Division of Epidemiology
    224 Irvine Hall
    Irvine, CA 92697-7550
    (949) 824-4007
    Fax: (949) 824-4773
    e-mail:
    cmclaren@uci.edu

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    EDITORS

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 5, Number 2 (Summer 1999)


    Comments and suggestions for the improvement of the newsletter are most welcome, and should be sent to a member of the editorial board.

    Terry King
    Department of Mathematics & Statistics
    Northwest Missouri State University
    Maryville, Missouri 64468-6001
    (660) 562-1805
    Fax: (660) 562-1188
    tlking@mail.nwmissouri.edu

    Joan Garfield
    Department of Educational Psychology
    University of Minnesota
    332 Burton Hall
    128 Pillsbury Dr., S.E.
    Minneapolis MN 55455
    (612) 625-0337
    Fax: (612) 624-8241
    jbg@maroon.tc.umn.edu

    Tom Moore
    Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
    Grinnell College
    Grinnell IA 50112
    (515) 269-4206
    Fax: (515) 269-4984
    mooret@ac.grin.edu

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    SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 5, Number 2 (Summer 1999)


    Hard copy
    All members of the Section on Statistical Education are automatically sent a hard copy of this newsletter. Other ASA members can receive a hard copy by joining the Section on Statistical Education the next time they renew their ASA memberships (Dues are only $5.00). Non-members of ASA may receive a hard copy by sending $8.00 along with Name, Complete Mailing Address (if within the U.S.A. please include your 9-digit zip code), Telephone, Fax, and e-mail address to:
    Marie Argana
    American Statistical Association
    732 North Washington Street
    Alexandria VA 22314-1943.

    Electronic
    If you wish to receive the newsletter via email contact Terry King (see Editors). Please make sure to include your name and complete e-mail address in your message.

    Web Versions
    All issues of the newsletter are also available on the World Wide Web at: http://renoir.vill.edu/cgi-bin/short/StatEd.cgi, and can be reached through the Statistical Education Section home page as well. Three different versions are available. The first is a "frames" version which displays the contents and articles on the same screen, along with contact information. The second and third Web versions of the Newsletter are both non-frames versions. The second version accesses each article as a separate file. If a surfer chooses to print an article, only that one article will appear on paper. The third version is a continuous feed version. That is, if a surfer chooses to print, then the entire newsletter will appear on paper.

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    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 5, Number 2 (Summer 1999)


    Information about the following Joint Statistical Meetings may be obtained from the
    ASA office
    732 North Washington Street
    Alexandria, VA 22314-1943
    Phone: (703) 684-1221
    E-mail: meetings@amstat.org.

    Have you ordered your copy of the Section Proceedings? The Proceedings contain papers presented at the Joint Statistical Meetings. Contact the ASA office to get your copy.

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    Detroit Conference on Statistics Education

    Dave Fluharty
    Alcoa Fujikura, Ltd.

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 5, Number 2 (Summer 1999)


    On April 9, 1999, approximately fifty people met at Wayne State University for a conference on "Statistical Education, Mathematics Standards, and the Meaning of Statistics." The sponsors were the Michigan Department of Education, the Detroit Chapter of the American Statistical Association, Wayne State University School of Education, Macomb Intermediate School District, Oakland Schools (ISD), and Minitab, Inc. The conference brought together K-12 teachers, school administrators, teacher educators, and statisticians from academia and industry to exchange ideas about important issues facing those engaged in statistical education, including the following: (1) What is the role of statistics in the K-12 curriculum? (2) Is the view of statistics and the process of data analysis consistent and connected across all school subjects? (3) What does the research say about teaching statistical concepts? (4) What are the experiences of teachers who have taught statistics in the classroom? (5) How can today's students use statistical thinking and statistical tools to better appreciate the world and to be successful in an increasingly complex work environment? (6) What resources are available to help K-12 teachers teach statistics?

    The first speaker was Dr. Glenda Lappan, President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). After an historical note on the place of statistics in the curriculum and its inclusion in the NCTM 1989 Standards, she presented the draft for the revised Standard for Statistics. The draft has a number of standards for each of four grade levels (Pre-K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) organized into four major categories: (1) Pose questions and collect, organize, and represent data to answer those questions. (2) Interpret data using methods of exploratory data analysis. (3) Develop and evaluate inferences, predictions, and arguments that are based on data. (4) Understand and apply basic notions of chance and probability.

    In addition to the accomplishments to date, she outlined future challenges in the teaching of statistics. Dr. Lappan was the first to discuss a repeated theme: the need for better teacher preparation to teach statistics. She then provided an opportunity for those attending the conference to comment on the standards for statistics. Among the concerns mentioned by conference participants were the scope and sequence of standards, the need for supplementary materials (which may be addressed in part by websites), the clarity of the standards, and whether all students could meet all of the standards. The notes from this discussion have been forwarded to NCTM.

    Dr. Joan Garfield, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, addressed some of the reasons why students find learning statistics difficult. She indicated there are four research areas contributing to our understanding of this issue: psychology, mathematics education, statistics education, and the field of learning and cognition. The psychological studies have indicated a number of misconceptions which people have before and even after taking a statistics course. Among these are the 'gambler's fallacy' (that stochastic processes are 'self correcting' and thus a number can be 'due' to hit) and the representativeness fallacy, (that certain examples of a random process are more or less likely than others, for example, certain sequences of heads or tails). Studies in learning and cognition have indicated that these misconceptions are very difficult to overcome. For example, even people who can work a correct answer may produce errors when responding quickly to questions, that is, relying on intuition. Research in mathematics education provides information on a number of the issues that are also concerns in learning statistics: understanding averages, graphs, and ratios and appropriate use of technology and assessment. Additional information can be found on Dr. Garfield's webpage: http://edpsy.coled.umn.edu/faculty/garfield/garfield.html

    Dr. J. Stuart Hunter, Statistical Consultant and a Past President of the American Statistical Association, presented an exploration of the topic "Statistics as a Language". He pointed out that as a language, statistics has both a vocabulary and syntax. He stressed that as with any language, clear communication requires careful use of the language. He stressed that students must learn the distinction between data and information and the role of statistics in obtaining information from data. In extracting this information, the user of statistics is faced with the "Two Model Problem," -- assigning some of the variation to a deterministic causal model and some to a stochastic (probability or random) model. Dr. Hunter contrasted the image of the Greeks, who were more concerned with ideas, with that of the Romans who were more concerned with realizations. Based on this he stressed the danger of confusing our expectations (unknown parameters or ideas, symbolized by Greek letters) and the realizations obtained from calculations with data (stats or statistics, symbolized by Roman letters). With this distinction in mind, he presented the illustration of the "Probability Bridge" as a link between the ideal world of theory and the realized world of data. This bridge can be 'crossed' in one direction to estimate the probability of our result (data) given our theory, that is, the degree to which the signal of the data supports the hypothesis. Crossing the bridge in the other direction, one can find the likelihood of a theory given our data.

    David Fluharty, Education Chair for the Detroit Chapter, spoke briefly about a phrase in the Michigan Mathematics Standards, "analyze natural variation and sources of variability." Several speakers and panelists stressed the need for more emphasis on this topic in the standards.

    The final speaker was Judy Dill, Project Leader for Education at the American Statistical Association's Center for Statistics Education. She presented an overview of the 18,000 member American Statistical Association, with emphasis on the growing role of statistical education. She outlined a number of ongoing ASA activities, including school memberships and poster and project competitions. She described the seminars and classroom materials of the Quantitative Literacy Program. In addition to the original QL Series (Exploring Data, Exploring Probability, The Art and Techniques of Simulation, Exploring Surveys and Information from Samples), Dale Seymour also publishes the Elementary Quantitative Literacy (EQL) Series, and a new series for high school entitled Data-Driven Mathematics. Further information is available at the Center's website which contains links to other websites of interest to teachers (http://amstat.org/education/index.html).

    The ASA also produces the ASA/NCTM newsletter, Statistics Teacher Network. Free subscriptions are available to interested teachers around the world. To be added to the mailing list, contact the ASA Center for Statistics Education, 732 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. The telephone number is (703) 684-1221 and e-mail can be sent to judy@amstat.org.

    During a panel discussion, experiences of teachers in AP statistics and college courses for K-12 teachers were discussed. Of particular interest was a discussion of a cross-curricular project, "Linking High School Math & Science through Statistical Design of Experiments" at Macomb Intermediate School District (see the website http://www.macomb.k12.mi.us/math/math.htm for more details). The conference ended with a comment by the panelists, and discussion by attendees, of the six questions at the beginning of this article.

    One theme that arose repeatedly was the need for better and more extensive teacher preparation. Another was the need for more emphasis on variation. To this end, one of the participants sent the following thought starter for a standard to NCTM. "Realize that variation is a characteristic of every physical, biological, and social system or process. Analyze natural variation and sources of variability. Detect statistical signals of specific causes that stand out from the noise of natural variation in the data."

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    An Overview of the Statistical Education Program for JSM 1999 in Baltimore

    Brad Hartlaub
    Kenyon College

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 5, Number 2 (Summer 1999)


    Every major time slot during the conference has at least one session for those participants interested in statistical education. The ASA Section on Statistical Education will sponsor or co-sponsor six invited sessions, five special contributed sessions, and four regular contributed sessions. There will be approximately 20 contributed posters in the Teaching/Pedagogy category and roundtable discussions will be available on two days of the conference. For the latest information on the program, point your web browser to http://www.amstat.org/meetings/jsm/1999/jsm99prog.

    This Section will sponsor three invited sessions: [(1) Developing and promoting statistical literacy at the undergraduate level; (2) Incorporating recommended teaching methods in the introductory statistics course: How to get it all done/should we try to get it all done?; (3) Mathematics education reform: the role of statistics] and co-sponsor three other invited sessions [(1) Using sports activities, examples, and data in teaching statistics; (2) NCTM and statistics education: A profile of some current activities; (3) Statistics education and the Mathematical Association of America.]

    "Developing and promoting statistical literacy at the undergraduate level" has been organized by Deborah Rumsey. This session will focus on the fact that statistical literacy is gaining attention by legislators, lawyers, business executives, parents, and educators in all disciplines. This presents our profession with some challenges and these challenges will be addressed in this session. J. Laurie Snell will present "Using chance media to promote statistical literacy"; "Statistics and the liberal arts" will be presented by George Cobb; Idda Gal will refocus our attention with "Enhancing the literacy aspect of statistical literacy"; and Jessica Utts will let us know "What every educated person should know about statistical studies." Joan Garfield will serve as the discussant for this session on Monday, August 9 at 2:00.

    Chandler Pike has organized a session called "Incorporating recommended teaching methods in the introductory statistics course: How to get it all done/should we try to get it all done?" Wow, that was a mouthful! Having a full agenda and limited time is nothing new for instructors in introductory courses. However, this session promises to contain some interesting strategies for clearing your plate and allowing some room for innovative teaching methods. Beth Chance will present "Introductory statistics: optimizing the mix"; "An eclectic approach to teaching introductory statistics -- integrating multiple pedagogies" will be presented by Roxy Peck. Paul Velleman will show us how to "[Match] the medium and the message" in his presentation and Robin Lock will serve as the discussant. This session is scheduled for Tuesday, August 10 at 10:30.

    "Mathematics education reform: the role of statistics," has been organized by Richard Scheaffer. This session includes distinguished leaders of the mathematics education reforms that have taken place over the past 15 years. We will be informed about the past, present, and future efforts with these reforms, especially in the K-12 grades, with emphasis on the key role that statistics is playing. "Mathematics education reform: What is its shape and what are the results?" will be presented by John Dossey; Glenda Lappan will present "A high quality mathematics education for every student: How is NCTM working toward this goal?"; and Joan Ferrini-Mundy will present "Improving K-12 mathematics education: tracing the place of statistics." Carey Bolster will serve as the discussant for this session, which is scheduled for Thursday at 10:30.

    If you are interested in sports you will not want to miss the session Robin Lock has organized for Sunday at 4:00, "Using sports activities, examples, and data in teaching statistics." Karla Ballman will present "Sports-based classroom activities," Robert Wardrop will provide "Sports examples for the classroom," and James Box will reload our browsers with "Sports data resources on the WWW."

    Joan Garfield and The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics have organized "NCTM and statistics education: A profile of some current activities." Gail Burrill will present "The overall importance and growing role of statistics in secondary school mathematics," "Statistics goes to school" will be presented by Richard Scheaffer; and Jerry Moreno will tell us about "The ASA/NCTM Joint Committee's role in promoting statistics education in schools." Jeff Witmer will serve as the discussant for this session on Wednesday at 10:30.

    "Statistics education and the Mathematical Association of America," has been organized by George Cobb. Ann Watkins will present "The CBMS survey and statistics teaching in the United States," Allan Rossman will describe "Workshops for mathematicians who teach statistics," Tom Moore will introduce "Resources for teachers of statistics: A new volume in the MAA Notes Series," and David Moore will focus on "Statistics and Mathematics: their association, their associations, and the future." Dex Whittinghill will chair this session at 8:30 Thursday morning.

    The section is also sponsoring six invited technical exhibits on Sunday evening from 5:00 until 7:30 PM. Christine Franklin will present "Are you ready for AP Statistics?" Zaven Karian will update us on "Symbolic computation and statistics education," Alexander Kugushev will provide an "Online introduction to statistics," Jerry Moreno will highlight "ASA - Outreach projects," Deborah Rumsey will introduce "A statistics teaching and resource library (STAR) on the WWW," and Paul Velleman will present "Multimedia instruction in statistics."

    The roundtable discussions have been organized by Tom Short, Villanova University. There will be five roundtable discussions on Tuesday from 12:30 -

    2:00 PM [(1) "The impact of AP-Statistics on statistical education," Fred Djang, Choate Rosemary; (2) "Using multimedia resources in the introductory statistics class," Joan Garfield, University of Minnesota; (3) "Web resources for teaching statistics," Robin Lock, St. Lawrence University; (4) "How does technology affect non-cognitive learning factors in teaching and learning introductory statistics?," Carl Lee, Central Michigan University; (5) "Starting a local/regional poster competition," Linda Quinn, QED Industries, Inc.] and five more on Wednesday from 12:30 - 2:00 PM [(1) "Integrating journal papers into courses in statistics," Anne Barker, Rochester Institute of Technology; (2) "Alternative topics for introductory statistics," Don Bentley, Pomona College; (3) "Using technology to develop statistical reasoning and thinking," Bob delMas, University of Minnesota; (4) "Data issues in institution-wide assessment," Margaret Land, Texas A&M University, Kingville; (5) "Statistical literacy for all," Milo Schield, Augsburg College.]

    The special contributed program contains three sessions and two panel discussions. John Holcomb has organized a session on "Course Projects" which will kick off the statistical education related activities on Sunday at 2:00 PM. On Monday at 8:30 you will find the session "Statistical literacy: critical thinking about observational data," organized by Milo Schield. On Tuesday there will be two special contributed sessions related to AP Statistics. Patti Collings has organized a panel discussion on "Teaching advanced placement statistics in high schools" where high school teachers will share their experiences, and Fred Djang has organized a session which will focus on "Resources for AP statistics teachers." The special contributed program will end with a panel discussion, "Watching videotapes of your consulting and teaching: reflections from ten years later," organized by Douglas Zahn.

    The regular contributed program contains an interesting mix of topics. On Sunday at 4:00 Brian Jones, Kenyon College, will chair a session on "Using technology in the classroom." Paul Roback, Bucknell University, will chair a session on Monday at 10:30 focusing on "Activities for the classroom." On Wednesday at 2:00 Douglas Andrews, Wittenberg University, will chair the session on "Different teaching methods: comparisons and comments." Joan Weinstein, Pine Manor College, will chair the final regular contributed session, "Attitudes, Anxieties, Assessment, and some new ideas," on Thursday at 8:30.

    Please join us for what appears to be a very interesting and exciting conference in Baltimore.

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    Tools for Teaching and Assessing

    Joan Garfield, Robert delMas
    University of Minnesota

    and Beth Chance
    University of the Pacific

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 5, Number 2 (Summer 1999)


    This is a project funded by the National Science Foundation to develop and disseminate materials that help students learn core concepts underlying statistical inference. We have created instructional modules that use simulation software to help students develop abstract concepts such as sampling distribution, confidence interval, p-values, and power. Based on our previous research, we based the modules on a model of conceptual change where students first make predictions and then test them using the simulation software. These modules also include assessment instruments to assess prerequisite conceptual knowledge and instruments to assess understanding of the statistical concepts underlying statistical inference.

    Our project website (http://www.gen.umn.edu/faculty_staff/delmas/stat_tools) contains materials for four instructional units (sampling distributions, confidence intervals, p-values, and power) as well as a variety of papers describing the development and evaluation of these materials. We invite you to browse our site, review our materials, and send us your feedback.

    Each instructional unit consists of the following components:

    1. A description of students' knowledge and reasoning related to the topic, including prerequisite knowledge students need before beginning the simulation activity, common misconceptions that students may have when reasoning about statistical concepts related to the topic, and desired student outcomes in terms of what they should understand about the topic and how they should be able to apply this knowledge.

    2. A pretest based on the prerequisite knowledge for a topic. The pretest consists of a set of items that may be used for diagnostic purposes. The instructor may administer all or some of these items before beginning the simulation activity to determine if students have misunderstandings that may be corrected prior to the activity.

    3. An activity that is based on the simulation software. A lab activity is provided that introduces the students to the software and guides their learning of important concepts. This activity asks students to make predictions and to test them with the software. In this way, students confront specific misconceptions and construct an understanding of statistical concepts.

    4. A posttest to evaluate students' understanding of key concepts and their ability to use these concepts in solving statistical problems. The posttest consists of a variety of items designed to assess students' learning after completing the unit. Most items are multiple choice or matching format for easier scoring. The instructor can include some or all of these items in a quiz or final exam.

    5. An Apple Macintosh version of the software is available for the instructional activity. A Microsoft Windows version of the software should be available during the summer of 1999.

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    Report on the 77th Annual Meeting of NCTM, San Francisco, April 22-24, 1999

    Richard L. Scheaffer
    University of Florida

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 5, Number 2 (Summer 1999)


    Around 19,000 mathematics educators met in late April for the Annual Meeting of NCTM in beautiful San Francisco, which even furnished outstanding weather for the visitors. (And you think the JSM is too big!) The theme of the meeting was "Celebrating Our Progress, Continuing the Journey" and this theme fits well with the strong emphasis on statistics and probability seen throughout the sessions. Reflecting on NCTM meetings I have attended for the past 18 years, it is apparent that statistics education has made great progress but there are still challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

    Throughout the sessions, short workshops, long workshops and all-day conferences, statistics was represented at all levels, from AP down through the high school grades, middle grades and elementary grades. The program lists 34 sessions with statistics in the title and another 27 with probability in the title, and these do not include the ones that refer to data analysis, graphing data, uses of technology or other terminology that reflects notions of statistics. It would not be too much of an exaggeration to say that statistics, broadly speaking, was a major sub-theme of the meeting. The sessions covered how to teach basic concepts, how to integrate statistics into standard topics in, say, elementary or middle grades math, student projects, uses of technology, hands-on activities and many other topics.

    In such a large meeting with so many parallel sessions, speakers resort to very descriptive (and sometimes clever) titles to attract a crowd to their presentations, and some of these titles reveal quite a lot about the content and nature of the presentation. Here are some of the titles for elementary grades: "Helping Data Come Alive in Elementary Classrooms: Discovering What Children Know," "An Entertaining Approach to Statistics," "Shuffle and Roll: Card and Dice Games to Reinforce Basic Skills," "Quantitative Literacy-Statistical Activities that Integrate Mathematics Across the Curriculum," "Celebrating Success with Probability and Statistics," "Using Statistical Investigations in the Classroom to Study Math Integrated with other Disciplines."

    The middle grades presentations had titles such as "Statistics by the Handful," "Developing a Critical Attitude toward the Use of Statistics," "Candies, Counters, and Chance-Probability and Statistics in the Middle Grades," "Perk Up Your Box-and-whiskers," "Survey Project: Middle Schoolers Compare Teens and Adults," and "Letıs Talk Trash: a Statistical Analysis of Trash, Composting and Student-Designed Plant Growth Investigations."

    At the high school level, below the AP course, titles included "Statistics Using the TI-83 Graphing Calculator," "Probability Blindness- Have We Closed Our Eyes to the Increased Importance and use of this Topic in Real life?" "Linear Regression, Correlation, and Residuals: Whatıs Important from a Statisticianıs Perspective," "Probability Through Data," "Data Connections in Algebra 2: Experiments and Projects," and "Studentıs Data-Driven Projects with School, Parent, and Community Involvement."

    In addition to sessions on AP statistics there were day-long workshops exclusively devoted to AP statistics on two of the meeting days, and a third day-long workshop (organized by the ASA-NCTM Joint Committee) on Quantitative Literacy that had strands for elementary, middle and high school grades as well as AP. An informal meeting of current and prospective AP statistics teachers drew 160 participants (late Friday afternoon on a gorgeous day!) to a discussion that ranged over a variety of issues. One important issue that ASA members could help resolve is the problem of colleges and universities accepting AP credit for an introductory statistics course. Students can usually win this battle after finding the right person to whom to present their credentials through persistence and tenacity, but college faculty who teach these courses could help pave the way for incoming students to receive the credit they deserve.

    ASA was represented well by Carol Blumberg at a session on the new NCTM Standards; she gave a brief overview of the report prepared by the ASA Association Review Group (ARG) as one of only four official presentations at this session. It is interesting to note that the presenter for AMS spoke quite favorably about statistics but the one for MAA questioned how statistics could be worked into the curriculum along with all the other topics requiring emphasis.

    All things considered, this would have to be considered as a very positive meeting for those who view statistics as an essential part of the mathematics curriculum, from K through 12 and beyond, that enhances the study of mathematics and teaches students some useful concepts of quantitative reasoning along the way.

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    Take a local AP Statistics Teacher to Lunch (and ask them what you can do to help!)

    Roxy Peck
    Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 5, Number 2 (Summer 1999)


    Advanced Placement Statistics is here and growing. About 7500 students took the AP exam in 1997 and over 15,000 took the exam in 1998. This year, about 23,000 students are expected to take the exam! This tremendous growth in the AP program means that each year there are a large number of high school mathematics teachers who are teaching statistics for the first or second time.

    There are a number of ways in which ASA members can help support teachers who are teaching AP statistics, and I encourage you to get involved. I asked two experienced AP teachers and good friends, Gretchen Davis and Chris Olsen, what statisticians could do to help. They each responded with a nearly identical list: (1) Be available to answer questions, advise and encourage; (2) Offer to be a guest speaker and talk about what statisticians really do; and (3) Offer to consult with students who are working on projects.

    In my work with the Advanced Placement program, I have been impressed with the dedication, enthusiasm and creativity of the AP teachers. I have had the opportunity to work closely with several AP teachers and to answer some of their questions about statistics, and in exchange they have shared with me their knowledge and experience in teaching. As a result, I too have learned a great deal from these exchanges. So, invite your local AP Statistics teacher to lunch. You'll be glad you did!

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    FACULTY DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP From PRE-STAT

    An NSF Faculty Enhancement Project
    Appalachian State University
    Boone, NC
    July 25 - July 31, 1999

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 5, Number 2 (Summer 1999)


    WHO IS IT FOR? College faculty who are involved with the preparation of middle or secondary level mathematics teachers and have an interest in improving the statistics education components of their curriculum. Previous participants have included faculty from mathematics, mathematics education, statistics and professional education.

    WHAT IS IT ABOUT? The goal of the PRE-STAT project is to improve statistical education in the middle and secondary schools. The workshop focuses on statistical concepts, pedagogy and curriculum for these grade levels.

    WHAT DOES IT COST? Room and board, materials, and tuition are provided by the project. Participants must provide their own transportation.

    WHERE DO I GET ADDITIONAL INFORMATION?
    Web site:
    www.prestat.appstate.edu/
    E-mail: PERRYLM@APPSTATE.EDU
    Snail mail: Mike Perry
    Department of Mathematical Sciences
    ASU
    Boone, NC 28608
    (828) 262 2362.

    Invitations may be offered as early as March 15, 1999, but applications will be accepted through June 15.

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    SECOND BIENNIAL MIDWEST CONFERENCE ON TEACHING STATISTICS
    A Conference for Teachers of Statistics

    Department of Mathematics
    University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
    June 25-27,1999

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 5, Number 2 (Summer 1999)


    Featured Speakers: Carl Lee, Central Michigan University; Rick Nordheim, University of Wisconsin Madison; Richard Scheaffer, University of Florida, Stephen Vardeman, Iowa State University.

    The purpose of the conference is to share the latest ideas and information on issues related to teaching statistics at all levels. The conference will feature invited presentation by leading statistics educators, and contributed paper sessions consistent with the mission of the conference.

    Authors wishing to contribute a 30-minute paper should submit an abstract (e-mail submission preferred) immediately. The papers accepted and presented at the conference will be published in a conference proceedings.

    Registration forms and updated information are available form the MCOTS-2 home page http://www.uwosh.edu/faculty_staff/gunaward/mcots2.html.

    For further information, contact
    K.L.D. Gunawardena
    Department of Mathematics
    University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
    Oshkosh, WI 54901
    Phone: (920) 424-1056
    E-mail: gunaward@uwosh.edu

    Chitra Gunawardena
    Department of Mathematics
    University of Wisconsin - Fox Valley
    Menasha, WI 54956
    Phone: (920) 832-2638
    E-mail: cgunawar@uwc.edu

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    Beyond AP Statistics: a course for experienced teachers

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 5, Number 2 (Summer 1999)


    Now that you have taught AP Statistics, are you eager to learn about topics beyond those in the basic syllabus?

    The American Statistical Association will reach out to experienced AP teachers when it offers a one-day seminar, Beyond Advanced Placement Statistics, at its Joint Statistical Meetings. The program will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland on August 9, 1999.

    For the nominal fee of $25, participants will strengthen their understanding of basic concepts in the AP course and learn interesting and useful topics for possible future statistics courses. They will do so under the tutelage of four nationally known statisticians: the University of Florida's Dick Scheaffer, who will address Sampling; Bob Stephenson of Iowa State University, who will teach Design and Analysis of Experiments; the University of Nebraska's Linda Young, who will address Exploring Probability Models; and Jim Matis of Texas A&M University, whose topic is Multiple Regression.

    Each BAPS presenter has had a close association with the AP Statistics program, and is a Fellow of the ASA. All teach college courses in the specific areas they are presenting and have extensive consulting/research experience as well. These credentials set BAPS instructors apart from other workshop leaders.

    The $25 fee will also enable teachers to return to the JSM on Tuesday, August 10, when a variety of convention programs of interest to high school teachers will occur. Among them is a round table discussion on Resources for AP Statistics Teachers organized by Choate-Rosemary Hall's Fred Djang; the College Bowl competition of statistics students; a special contributed panel discussion Teaching Advanced Placement Statistics in High Schools; and dozens of exhibitors displaying textbooks, software and other products.

    To register contact the ASA website at http://www.amstat.org/education after May 1 or contact sue@amstat.org.

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