Category Archives: Stats in Education

Items of interest that relate to the teaching of statistics.

#60ISIWSC – 60th World Statistics Congress

topo_bgThe International Statistics Institute World Statistics Congress

For your information, the 60th ISI World Statistics Congress (WSC) will be taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during 26–31 July 2015.

The congress brings together members of the statistical community, from across the globe, to present, discuss, promote and disseminate research and best practice in every field of Statistics and its applications.

You can find out more using the link isi2015.org and can keep up with what is going on using the hashtag #60ISIWSC.

For those with an interest in statistical education there is a satellite conference held by the IASE during the 22-24 July. There is a separate site with a full programme of events available now, it can be found at iase-web.org.

ONS Census 2021 – Have Your Say

On a slightly related note the Office for National Statistics have announced there are now only 6 weeks remaining to haCensus2021ve your say with regards the next national census that will take place in 2021.

You can view a statement on the consultation from John Pullinger, National Statistician, on the ONS website. The link in full is below.

https://consultations.ons.gov.uk/census/2021-census-topics-consultation

WinAtSchool – Significance, Teaching Statistics and How Not to be Wrong

Thanks to our Maths Competition sponsor, Winton Capital Management, we were able to provide a goodie bag for the teachers attending the 2015 live final.

Amongst the treasures, all wrapped up in a reusable Winton bag, we had Jordan Ellenberg’s  “How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking”, perfect light reading for those who appreciate the importance of mathematics.

In addition we had a relevant editiofeb-2015-cover of Significancen of Significance Magazine (February 2015 (Vol 12 Issue 1)) and the Spring issue of Teaching Statistics (Volume 37, Issue 1). Both were provided directly by Wiley (@Wiley_Stats) who we wish to thank on behalf of the teachers.

Incidentally, UK based teachers can get a reduced rate subscription to Teaching Statistics (Print + Online) if they’re a NCTM/IASE or RSS e-teacher Member, find details here. And you can access all issues up to 11:2 of Significance for free here.

WinAtSchool Final 2015

Winton LogoThe WinAtSchool 2015 final is almost here. The competition, organised by the ICSE with Plymouth University, and sponsored by Winton Capital Management, is to take place at at the University of Reading, Whiteknight campus on the 1st July 2015.

We would like to congratulate the twelve finalist schools that will be competing in the final. The schools are as follows:

Bourne Grammar School, Lincolnshire
Colyton Grammar School, Devon
Dame Alice Owen’s School, Hertfordshire
Devonport High School for Boys, Devon
Kendrick School, Berkshire
Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School, Lincolnshire
Malmesbury School, Wiltshire
Marling School, Gloucestershire
Saint Olave’s Grammar School, Kent
Sale Grammar School, Cheshire
The Blue Coat School, Liverpool, Merseyside
Warwick School, Warwickshire

It is shaping up to be an exciting finale with more than one team having been at the final last year including Marling School, the defending champions.

For the uninitiated, the grand final will consist of a team of four pupils from each school competing to win a top prize of £2,500. This year the event will be hosted by Dr Vicky Neale, Whitehead Lecturer at the Mathematical Institute and Balliol College at the University of Oxford, while Neil Sheldon, the Royal Statistical Society’s vice president for education and statistical literacy, will present the prizes.

We would like to thank all the teachers and pupils who took part, as usual the standard has been very high. For more information and the full press release visit #WinAtSchool.

Marling School

 

 

 

 

Pictured: 2014 Winners – Marling School, receiving their prize from Professor David Hand (L) and Neil Sheldon (R).

Data to Insight – Videos

Some of you may recall back in October 2014 a post on this blog about FutureLearn (@FutureLearn) running an introductory statistics course, entitled “Data to Insight“, developed by the University of Auckland. You can check the post here.

Now the lead academic from the course, Professor Chris Wild, has made all of the video material from the MOOC freely available. You can peruse the course index from his home page at the University of Auckland (stat.auckland.ac.nz) and view all the videos on his YouTube channel.

There is no question that outside of the MOOC framework this will be a tough introduction to statistics without some prior knowledge or a tutor to guide you but it would certainly complement exiting study or self-study for those willing to give it a go.

You can comment on all the videos via YouTube.

WinAtSchool – Big Bang Prize Draw Winners

Winton LogoYou may recall back in March we attended the Big Bang Science and Engineering Fair in Birmingham and a number of NearMe Big Bang events regionally, this was to promote our WinAtSchool competition, sponsored by Winton Capital Management.

Throughout the events we were running two prize draws; one for any pupil that took part as a result of attending a Big Bang and similarly one for any class. The individual prize was a £25 Amazon Voucher while the class prize was a £100 Amazon Voucher.

We randomly selected and informed the winners last week and are now delighted to announce the results.

  • The individual winner was from The Compton School in London. It was especially pleasing  that the winner had got top marks.
  • The class that won was from Ysgol y Creuddyn a School in Llandudno, Wales. The teacher there told us they used the quiz for GCSE mathematics examination preparation.

We would like to thank the hundreds of pupils that took part individually, either at the events themselves or outside of school, and all the teachers who got 8 or more of their pupils to have a go while at school.

The WinAtSchool final is to be held on the 1st of July in Reading (more details can be found on the website).

WinAtSchool.org.uk

Teaching Statistics Summer 2015 – Volume 37 – Number 2

The latest edition of the Wiley Teaching Statistics Journal is out (Summer 2015 – Vol 37) and as usual it contains some nice original articles including probability activities that Primary teachers may find of interest.Cover to TSJ Volume 37 - Summer 2015

One article that is especially insightful takes a look at the topic of teaching statistics for non-statisticians, that is students of subjects other than statistics being taught statistics. In the  article the focus is on economics and humanities students taking elementary / introductory statistics classes.

Richard Hindls and Stanislava Hronová from the Department of Economic Statistics at the University of Economics in Prague focus on some of the problems that can, ‘weaken the interest in statistics or lead to false use of statistic methods‘.

Possibly the proposition put forward, and the conclusions provided, will not be new to anyone involved in statistical education but for those teaching statistics to non-statisticians, especially teachers who are non-statisticians themselves, the article could be a real eye-opener.

You should be able to access the article here. For general journal enquirers or to subscribe you should contact Wiley.

Wiley Teaching Statistics Journal

Teaching Statistics Trust Textbook Bursary

The Teaching Statistics Trust has introduced a Textbook Bursary to support teachers who are enrolled on a course of professional development designed to improve their teaching of statistics and who require a textbook to support their studies.

You can download an application form on the link below. Details on how to submit this form are contained on the form itself.

Textbook Bursary Application Form

ELSEVIER – Supporting Mathematical Sciences

As part of a project supported by ElseVier to promote mathematical sciences we have produced a statistical audit survey that researchers can use to obtain a profile of their knowledge, awareness and skills in Elsevier and Plymouth University Logostatistics and data handling that may help to formulate a personal development and training programme for these skills.

The audit, in the form of a survey that can be taken online or as an MS Word document that can be downloaded, can be found using the link below.

You can opt to save and print your results or email them to yourself if you provide an address, we recommend printing your results. If you do provide your email please be assured it is only used to return your responses, if you have any concerns please view our data protection policy for clarity.

Any postgraduates who uses statistics within their work will find the audit a useful means of assessing their skills and knowledge of the discipline.

Take the Audit

WinAtSchool Schools Competition – Ending in April

Now seems like a good time to tell all UK secondary school teachers that the 2015 WinAtSchool Maths and Stats Competition will be closing on the 30th of April.

If you have 8 or more pupils willing to test their mathematical skills and knowledge you should register your school as soon as possible. Find out how WinAtSchool.org.uk.

If time is short get your pupils to take part first, you can always register after the deadline to get your results and see how your school/class have done.

WinAtSchool at the Big Bang Fair

The Big Bang Fair BirminghamWe took our maths and stats quiz to the Big Bang Fair at the NEC in Birmingham at the start of March and then appeared at a handful of the regional events throughout the month.

This included a visit to North and South Wales, Sussex and Somerset.

We would like to thank all of the teachers who attended and all the pupils who took part in either the practice or prize quiz throughout all 5 events.

Big Bang Fair Competition

If you are one of the hundreds of pupils we met at the recent Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, or one of the regional Big Bang NearMe events and still wish to take part in our £20 Amazon voucher prize draw you have until the 30th April to do so.

Remember also that there is a Big Bang school prize.  Any school where 8 or more pupils take part, before the 30th, as a result of attending the Big Bang will be entered into our prize draw. You can find further details on our leaflets given out at all the Big Bang events.

Big Bang Fiar - A Team Effort

Big Bang Fair - Working it out

Increase Your Chances of Getting a Graduate Job

It was interesting to see this post on the ASA (American Statistical Association) This is Statistics site that hints at a big demand for statisticians in the future.

It goes on to say that careers in statistics will grow much faster within the predicted period (2012-2022) than any other occupation and that earnings will remain high. The prediction is via the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics but recent stories in the UK, would tend to indicate the same is true here.

The article ends with a call to educators to share this information with students as far and as wide as possible.

So…don’t go nudging your students into becoming Mathematical Physicists, as valuable a career choice as that is, put them on to a career in statistics instead, they will thank you for it in the future when they walk straight into that graduate job.