Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Notes for Session 1

Note 1
Many teachers focus solely on the third component of our four-step process for statistical investigations: data analysis. But to properly understand your data, you need to do more than simply examine them. Specifically, there are four things you should consider:

 Part B Notes: Data Measurement and Variation Part C Notes: Bias in Measurement Part D Notes: Bias in Sampling

A statistics problem typically contains four integral components:

 1 Formulation of a statistical question 2 The nature of data 3 Particular ways to examine data 4 Types of interpretations

These four elements serve as the foundation of all the activities in this course. The activities in Part B of this session begin with a question (or questions) and then focus on the nature of data. Each activity emphasizes three points:

 1 Data consist of measurements of a particular variable. 2 There is variation in data. 3 There are many potential sources of this variation.

Two questions recur throughout this session: Why are there differences (i.e., variation) in our measurements? What is the source of this variation?

Parts C and D look at two kinds of "bias" in data. Part C uses an Interactive Activity to examine how measurement bias might arise. Part D uses an Interactive Activity that demonstrates how bias can occur in sample selection by looking at the difference between human selection and random selection.

Materials Needed:

 • foot-long rulers • yardsticks • tape measures • meter sticks • metric rulers

The following materials are needed for those choosing to do hands-on activities:

 • up to 32 pennies • metric scales that are accurate to 1/100 of a gram • a stopwatch or watch with a second hand • five boxes of raisins