QUESTION 11: Uncertainty
We have been playing around with different digital representations of our thinking, aiming to achieve something that illustrates the connections within and across themes. We have got quite a long way with Geometry, Dimensions, Measurement and Probability/Statistics. The latter seems to be fertile ground for opinion and we would be interested in your thoughts on a couple of issues.
PART A: We have been continuing with our reading and have considered links between Statistics and Probability. They are often paired up in curricula, with probability presented as an exercise in combinatorics and linked to statistics only by long term frequency. Would it be desirable for the exploration of randomness to have a higher status in the teaching of statistics by using simulation and simple games of chance as a basis for generating data for collection and analysis? Could this approach help students to conceptualise the fundamentals of mathematical probability, while providing a deeper understanding of statistical variability?
Reference: Batanero, C., Burrill, G., Reading, C. (editors) (2011) Teaching Statistics in School Mathematics – Challenges for Teaching and Teacher Education (A joint ICMI/IASE study). Springer.
PART B: In the UK curriculum, being able to hand draw statistical representations has achieved a higher prominence of late – for example expecting year 6 (10 - 11 year-olds) children to construct pie charts. Is this still an appropriate requirement – or has hand drawing such diagrams had its day?