Statistics is widely recognized as a subdivision of mathematics that is associated with creation of sense relating to data. Data stands as those quantities which are obtained as outputs from unique methodical observation. Presented as a ‘list of numbers,’ they are much difficult to understand.
Therefore, the techniques associated with the study of Statistics guides the researchers so that they can give life to their work related to data which includes to organize, classify, condense, review, define, illustrate, examine, relate, synthesize, assess and lastly drawing conclusion to it.
Usage of statistical knowledge in Investigation
Whether you prefer to work with qualitative methods or quantitative techniques or it is that you prefer miscellaneous means to investigate the questions related to your research (necessary for your thesis), in all the above cases, you will come across statistics in numerous contexts. Statistics will be obviously applicable when you will need its usage for the purpose of analysis of data in your study concerning your methods of study.
If your study includes participants in a group, it may appear helpful to you to define the characteristics of your participants. In order to guide your reader so that they can understand your participant’s context to describe the characteristics concerning the setting associated with your own study, it may appear useful to you. These instances actually signify the ‘producer’ role of using the knowledge of statistics.
Statistical methods deserve special mention in organizing and analysing data where they (data) are unmistakable qualifications concerning observed phenomena. To make it more clearly, it is a regular process of allocating numbers to assured events or definite characteristics. In addition, statistical practices or skills include methods necessary for illustrating the outcome of the statistical investigation.
The main example relating to this use of statistics includes the creation associated with portrayal of information concerning charts as well as graphs in brilliant display of graphics. A picture speaks thousands of words (it’s worth even more numbers).
Besides, there is analysis, as well as trends and various other forms that may arise which guides and assists mainly researchers and others comprehend and clarify natural phenomena.
Importance of Statistics in Education
Education Statistics is widely applicable in order to understand how average number of learners function regarding certain methods relating to teaching thereby helping teachers to be acknowledge of the fact i.e. how to provide education in the best promising way.
At the same time what is also necessary is to see and observe the reaction of various outliers to certain techniques of teaching. Ultimately these outliers will be benefitted from creating trouble if the instructor keeps them engage in discussion which they may find either too hard or easy.
Job opportunity increases
Schools are the platform where students should gain the knowledge to that extent so that they are statistically educated. If the teachers act as the key to shape the future of students thereby making them statistically brilliant, they must first of all recognize the essence of statistics and understand it.
They must study the content as well as the pedagogy so to be aware of the fact that how they should teach the subject (in discussion) at various levels.
The initiative was taken by the states in order to adapt and develop the “Common Core State Standards in Mathematics” promised a progression with a view to promote education of statistics in public schools in USA and other countries.
The standards, which have made their commencement to be implemented the academic year of 2014, contain a considerable amount of statistical education facility especially at the middle as well as at the high school level. This was an emphasis that was cordially welcomed as it was much in demand.
Investigating and gaining knowledge on skills associated with statistics has been proved to be beneficial to the students because they are the keys to unlock their understanding of three crucial arenas. These are the government, business and news.
A student, who enters a college with his or her focus on Statistics, comes out with flying colours thereby developing a profound knowledge about the current scenario of job market. He or she will face no difficulty in gaining a decent job.
Students may want to pursue jobs at renowned companies like Amazon, Face book and Netflix or they may prefer to do businesses. It will be a great advantage on their part if they are well versed with the knowledge of application of statistical models in specific conditions relating to their profession.
How statistics benefits the teacher
Measurement and Evaluation are two inseparable parts associated with teaching and learning process. In this process you obtain scores and then interpret these scores in order to arrive at a specific decision. Statistics comes foreword to help you so that you can engage yourself in studying these scores objectively. It deserves special mention in making both the teaching and learning processes efficient.
The knowledge of Statistics helps the teacher in various ways. Statistics guides the teacher to give a precise depiction of the data. Sometimes due to shortage of knowledge on technical field teachers is uncertain in describing the performance of the students. But Statistics assists him to describe the performance with the usage of proper languages as well as symbols. Thus his interpretation is marked definite.
Statistics also guides the teacher to arrive at anyconclusion in general. Statistics further empowers teachers to foresee (predict) the possible score of students in the final exam from the marks they have scored at the entrance exam. But there are chances of this prediction to be wrong due to diverse factors. Statistics with its methods informs about the margin of error (how much) that is to be allowed in making predictions.
Last but not the least, Statistics helps the teacher to observe the reason of failure of students in a specific subject. It is a communal factor that the consequence of behaviour results in plentiful of casual issues.
If the reason that why a particular pupil gives poor performance in a particular subject is explored, various reasons will come out. Statistical approaches will enable the teacher to keep these unnecessary variables constant and will let him observe the prime cause of the failure of the student.
Goals of Statistics Education
Teachers who deal with the subject of statistics have designed both cognitive and non-cognitive goals for their students. For instance, the former president of American Statistical Association (or ASA in short) whose name is Katherine Wallman demarcated Statistical literacy which includes the cognitive skills of understanding and critically evaluated statistical results as well as has appreciated the contributions that is the outcome of thinking with the knowledge of statistics.
In the text rising from the 2008 joint conference of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction and International Association of Statistics Educators, renowned editors like Chris Reading, Carmen Batanero and Gail Burrill acted as reminders tothe fact that worldwide trends covering the curricula which in turn reflect those goals which are data oriented.
Educators mainly prefer students to get indulge in designing investigations, formulating questions concerning their research, collecting data using their keen observation, conducting surveys plus experiments, describing and comparing sets of data and proposing and justifying conclusions as well as predictions which are data based. The writers note down the essence of statistical reasoning and thinking as well in addition to knowledge of statistics.
In spite of the fact that cognitive goals relating to education of Statistics progressively focus on Statistical literacy, reasoning, thinking rather than aiming at skills, calculations andprocedures alone, there is no definite agreement regarding what these terms actually signify or how to assess them. A first attempt that marked the definition and distinction between the above three terms appears in a website called ARTIST. The website owes its creation to Garfield, Chance and delMas and has found its place in several publications.
- Statistical Literacy deserves importance in reading and using basic Statistical language with graphical illustrations so that information based on statistics can be applicable not only in media but also in day to day life.
- Statistical reasoning is used to reason about as well as connect various concepts and ideas concerned with Statistics..
- Statistical thinking refers to those thoughts which help statisticians when they meet a statistical serious problem. This type of thinking involves thoughts relating to the nature and quality of the data and also finding from where it came. This is followed by choosing applicable analyses plus appropriate models. Next is to interpret the result in the problem’s context by observing the data constraints.
Again Cognitive goals can also vary taking into account the students’ level of education and in what context they expect to come across statistics. Statisticians have come forward with what they consider as the most significant concepts of statistics for cultured and sophisticated citizens.
For instance, Jessica Utts in 2003 published 7 areas what each and every educated citizen should be acknowledged of being considerate of the fact that variability is normal and how coincidences are not common owing to numerous possibilities. Before that Gal in 2002 has stated his suggestion on adults in developed societies are expected to exercise Statistical Literacy.
Non-cognitive consequences include moving constructs such as beliefs, emotions, attitudes, motivation and dispositions. As stated by proficient researchers like Gal and Ginsburg educators concerning statistics must consider student’s ideas, feelings as well as reaction towards statistics and how these things have emotional impact on their process of learning(in turn).
Beliefs: Beliefs are defined as ideas that are held individually and are related to statistics. These ideas are about oneself as a student of statistics and concerning the social context in which one learns statistics. Beliefs stand apart from attitude in the sense that attitudes are reasonably steady and intense feelings that slowly develops with the passage of time as one becomes experienced in gaining knowledge on statistics.
Students’ set-up of confidence offers a context for an approach on their part towards the experiences they gather in classroom. Many learners enter a course on Statistics with hesitation in their mind towards concentrating in the subject which goes against the learning ambience that teachers always try to achieve. Therefore the instructor requires on his part accessing of instruments relating to assessments that provides preliminary diagnosis thereby monitoring the belief of a student in the course of a course. Frequently, such instruments have not only monitored beliefs but also attitudes (together).
Dispositions: Disposition deals with the way that students put questions concerning the data and approach a problem associated with statistics. Disposition is considered as one of the 4 dimensions in Wild and Pfannkuch’s framework for ‘Statistical thinking.’ It contains the elements stated below.
- Curiosity with awareness
- Imagination with thoughts
- Being Logical
- A tendency to seek deeper meaning
The most necessary thing is that a student of statistics education must see Statistics from a broader view point in order to achieve his desired goal (i.e. to be a proficient expert in the field of statistics).
Attitudes: Many students develop anxiety in studying maths and negative approaches towards studying statistics. Therefore several researchers have addressed anxiety and attitudes towards the subject of statistics. Instruments which can perfectly measure a student’s attitude towards Statistics have been developed by statistics experts. These instruments have showed applicable ‘psychometric’ properties. Such instruments are named as ‘Survey of Attitude Towards Statistics (SATS),’ ‘Attitude Toward Statistics Scale’ and ‘Statistics Attitude Survey (SAS).’
It goes without saying that the primary goal of Statistics Education is to develop a positive experience in the learners thereby motivating them. This task is left with the teachers who are the instructors to guide them by making the learning process an interesting one.
Emma McCoy is a well-known author. A professor of statistics, faculty of natural sciences and Department of Mathematics. Her research interests are Time Series, Computational statistics and Wavelets. She is the experienced online tutor who has vast knowledge on the statistics. She has done M.S. in Statistics from Hult International Business School. She is into teaching for a number of years now. She uses current methods of pedagogy to teach the students. Through her unique teaching technique students gain clarity on the subject. She believes that only education alone is the key to welfare of the society, globally. You can contact her for the best guidance.