Statistical Problem Solving - Middle Grade Teacher
The following example illustrates the complete statistical problem-solving process at the level expected of a middle-school teacher.
Statistical investigations undertaken in elementary school are typically based on questions posed by the teacher that can be addressed using data collected within the classroom. In middle school, the focus expands beyond the classroom, and students begin to formulate their own questions. Because many investigations will be motivated by students’ interests, middle-school teachers must be skilled at constructing and refining statistical questions that can be addressed with data.
For example, suppose a student is planning a project for the school’s statistics poster competition. The student recently read that consumption of bottled water is on the rise and wondered whether people actually prefer bottled water to tap or if they could even tell the difference between the two. When asked for advice about how to conduct a study, the teacher suggested having individuals drink two cups of water—one cup with tap water and one cup with bottled water. For each trial, the bottled water would be the same brand and the tap water would be from the same source. Not knowing which cup contained which type of water, each participant would identify the cup he/she believed to be the bottled water. Thus, a statistical question that could be investigated would be:
Are people more likely than not to correctly identify the cup with bottled water?
Revised Law of Large Number
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Hi. My name is Kathy Shafer and I have been teaching high school and college level mathematics since 1984.
Favorite technologies include Fathom, Tinkerplots, Geometer's Sketchpad, Geogebra, Terrapin Logo, Green Globs, Spreadsheets and SketchUp.
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