Using the island to teach statistics through data investigations: A pilot project in Australian secondary schools

Baglin, J and Huynh, M 2015, 'Using the island to teach statistics through data investigations: A pilot project in Australian secondary schools', in Proceedings of The Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (formerly UniServe Science Conference), Perth, Australia, 30 September - 2 October 2015, pp. 87-93.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Using the island to teach statistics through data investigations: A pilot project in Australian secondary schools
Author(s) Baglin, J
Huynh, M
Year 2015
Conference name Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education
Conference location Perth, Australia
Conference dates 30 September - 2 October 2015
Proceedings title Proceedings of The Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (formerly UniServe Science Conference)
Publisher UniServe Science, The University of Sydney
Place of publication Australia
Start page 87
End page 93
Total pages 7
Abstract Declines in secondary school students' attitudes towards, and participation in, mathematics and science are cause for concern. In 2012, a report from the Office of the Chief Scientist called for universities and schools to develop partnerships aimed at improving mathematics and science education in schools. Responding to this call, this pilot project used an online simulation of a human population, known as the Island (Bulmer & Haladyn, 2011), to develop innovative activities for teaching statistics through data investigations within the Statistics strand of the Australian Mathematics Curriculum. The Island-based activities aimed to engage students in meaningful and realistic statistical practice and thereby improve their attitudes towards statistics. The resources were piloted in four partnered secondary schools from the northern suburbs of Melbourne in years 8 to 11 mathematics classes. Questionnaire data from students' attitudes towards statistics before and after completing the project activities were collected from 237 students. The results found statistically significant increases in positive attitudes towards statistics, however, students' attitudes towards career prospects in statistics were resistant to change and competency significantly declined. This paper discusses the limitations of these findings and the future directions for a national project.
Subjects Educational Technology and Computing
Secondary Education
Statistics not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) statistical data investigations
statistics education
mathematics education
science education
Australian Curriculum
educational technology
the Island
ISBN 9780987183446
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