Research Project Aims to Improve Statistics Courses

TERC is currently working with Key Curriculum Press on a research project designed to improve the model for teaching and learning middle and high school statistics. The project, "Visualizing Statistical Relationships: An Exploration of the Role of Interactive Visualizations in the Understanding of Statistical Relationships," is part of TERC's Education Research Collaborative in Science and Mathematics.

The project funded by the National Science Foundation combines data visualization tools with academic research about the way teachers and students teach, learn and process statistical concepts. The primary research vehicles for the project are two advanced software programs, Fathom Dynamic Statistics, for use by high school students, and Tinkerplots, designed for middle school students. The intuitive, visual interface used by the programs allows students to easily manipulate data. The programs will help researchers study how students use the software as a means to develop models of peoples' conceptions about statistics that are detailed enough to have practical, pedagogical applications. TERC, Cambridge, MA, (617) 547-0430,

This article originally appeared in the 12/01/2001 issue of THE Journal.