New Zealand Statistical Association
2004 Conference

Submitted Talks

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Catherine Marshall
Wellington Maths Association

The Impact of NCEA and Graphics Calculators on the Teaching of Secondary School Statistics

The approach to the teaching of statistics in the senior secondary school has changed considerably in the last three years, although the curriculum has been unchanged since 1992.

A comparison of schemes and assessments selected from Tawa College will be used to demonstrate the similarities and differences before and after the introduction of NCEA. Personal teacher experience will also be drawn on to illustrate the new approach with its emphasis on different aspects at each level, and a more integrated package, particularly at years 11 and 12. The use of regression has appeared at year 13 as part of the investigation of bivariate data.

Any discussion on the changes to the teaching of statistics cannot overlook the impact of hand held technology. There is a stated expectation in the Achievement Standards that electronic means will be used to process and graph data. The up take of graphics calculators is shifting the use of class time from number crunching and graphing to aspects such as analysis of distributions and comparison of data sets.

The overall affect of NCEA and technology has been to make statistics a more interesting subject to teach, and hopefully a more stimulating subject for students to engage in.