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ASA, NCTM Call on School Administrators, Universities to Increase Training for Pre-K–12 Statistics Teachers

1 May 2013 113 views No Comment

Organizations adopt joint position statement outlining teacher training needs

    The American Statistical Association and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) are calling on universities and school administrators across the country to provide high-quality training and professional-development opportunities that will help prepare future and current teachers to lead classes on statistics.

    Statistics is an increasingly important scientific field of study and a key component of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, which was developed jointly in 2010 by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

    As a result of this rise in prominence, “teachers of mathematics and others who will teach statistics must have deep knowledge and understanding of statistics and the way that students learn the subject,” assert the ASA and NCTM in their joint statement.

    Among the specific recommendations the groups make are:

    • School administrators need to provide professional development opportunities specifically related to statistics content and offer support for teachers to attend these opportunities.
    • Professional development courses and workshops for future and current teachers need to model effective pedagogies for teaching statistics.
    • Faculty teaching statistics courses and workshops need to be familiar with pedagogies appropriate for the pre-K–12 classroom.
    • Statistics teachers need to work together with education faculty to provide coursework that emphasizes stronger conceptual knowledge of statistics and the essential ideas of statistical thinking and problemsolving.
    • State departments of education need to work together with national professional organizations such as the ASA, NCTM and others to ensure the development of uniform resources, assessments and delivery models of professional development in statistics.

    “Statistics is an integral part of mathematics education, but also of the education of any informed, productive citizen in any career or academic pursuit,” said NCTM President Linda Gojak. “This joint position statement describes a foundation of what is most important in statistics education, and it recommends steps to take to improve the statistical literacy of all students.”

    “ASA is committed to working with NCTM and all concerned stakeholders—math and science organizations, national teacher groups, state education administrations, university departments and faculty—to ensure our nation’s teachers can access the training programs they need to teach statistics to their students,” said ASA President Marie Davidian. “We believe the roadmap outlined in this joint statement is an important first step in getting university faculty, school administrators and teachers thinking about how to best prepare statistics teachers.”

    Read the full ASA-NCTM joint statement (PDF download).

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