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

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The American Statistical Association (ASA) and the 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.

The American Statistical Association (ASA) and the 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 here.

About the American Statistical Association
Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., the American Statistical Association is the world’s largest community of statisticians and the second-oldest continuously operating professional society in the United States. Its members serve in industry, government and academia in more than 90 countries, advancing research and promoting sound statistical practice to inform public policy and improve human welfare. For additional information about the American Statistical Association, please visit the ASA website at http://www.amstat.org.

About the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is the public voice of mathematics education, providing vision, leadership, and professional development to support teachers in ensuring mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students. With 80,000 members and more than 200 Affiliates, NCTM is the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving mathematics education in prekindergarten through grade 12. NCTM is dedicated to ongoing dialogue and constructive discussion with all stakeholders about what is best for our nation’s students. Go to http://www.nctm.org for more information.

For more information:
Jeffrey A. Myers                
ASA Public Relations Coordinator         
Office: (703) 684-1221, Ext. 1865        
Mobile: (540) 623-7777                
E-mail: Jeffrey(at)amstat(dot)org

Tracy Withrow
NCTM Communications Manager
Office: (703) 620-9840, Ext. 2189
E-mail: twithrow(at)nctm(dot)org

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