Centre for Statisitcal Education

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Teaching Statistics in British Secondary Schools

What do trainee Mathematics teachers know about teaching Statistics in British Secondary Schools?

The launch of the results of research into the extent and form of statistics knowledge and pedagogy in British PGCE Mathematics courses was held on the 26 September at the Royal Statistical Society in London.

“I’m clear on the curriculum but not how to teach it (Statistics)”

“(Statistics is) used in other subjects, but not given justice because students don’t understand the purpose, usually because the teacher doesn’t”

Are these damning indictments of the way statistics is regarded in training Mathematics teachers?


They are typical of quotes the RSS Centre for Statistical Education (RSSCSE) received in gathering evidence from students on mathematical science degrees, NQTs and teacher trainees on PGCE Mathematics courses. At the launch event the RSSCSE presented a report of research funded by the Teaching Statistics Trust. The meeting considered the implications of a less than enthusiastic attitude on the part of many Mathematics teachers to knowledge of the subject and its teaching.

Neville Davies and John Marriott, co-authors of the report, presented some surprising evidence and made recommendations about what should happen in the future to improve statistics knowledge and pedagogy in British teacher training.

The event closed with an invited discussion by: Neil Sheldon, Chair of The Teaching Statistics Trust and Professor Harvey Goldstein, Professor of Social Statistics, University of Bristol and Teaching Statistics Trustee. See www.rss.org.uk/pgceresearch for updated information.

How should we teach our teachers to teach Statistics? How can the wider statistical community help to shape policy outcomes that will help to improve the current approach to statistics teacher training.

You may download the report  below

Download Report: Teaching Statistics in British Secondary Schools