Teaching Statistics in High School

Teaching AP Statistics Part I: Descriptive Statistics and Probability

Welcome to Math Teacher Link Module 6A. This is a Web-based, technology-intensive course for in-service teachers wishing to update and/or review topics in statistics for AP Statistics courses at the high school level. Module 6A and 6B together cover topics in a full-year course in AP Statistics; module 6A covers descriptive statistics and probability, and Module 6B covers inferential statistics.

The primary focus is teaching statistics and improving the quality of instruction by using assistive technology. Both the content of statistics and effective instructional strategies reflect the NCTM Standards for Curriculum and for Teaching and the College Board AP Statistics course Description.

This module is composed of the following six units:

• Unit 1: Exploring Data: Introduction to Descriptive Statistics and Overview of Statistics Websites

• Unit 2: Statistical Tables and Graphs

• Unit 3: Summarizing Data: Centers and Spreads

• Unit 4: Linear Relationships: Regression and Correlation

• Unit 5: Probability and Expected Value

• Unit 6: Probability Distributions

Participants will complete one unit at a time, but most complete all six units to earn credit for this module.

Credit: 4 graduate semester hrs.

The units are written purposely brief, allowing the enrollee to research and self-study unfamiliar topics in depth, and minimize time spent on understood topics. Enrollees are expected to do a significant amount of independent study to complete this course.

Common Core Standards for Mathemtical Practice that are emphasized include:

Teaching AP Statistics Part I: Descriptive Statistics and Probability was originally written by Ken Travers and Jeremy Bartusch, revised in 2002 by Amy Trefzger, and revised again in 2012 by Carol Castellon.

Please send questions or comments to: statistics@mtl.math.uiuc.edu

Detailed Description

Teaching AP Statistics Part I: Descriptive Statistics and Probability

This is the first module of a networked-based two-module course in the fundamentals of probability and statistics. The two modules together are intended to provide the necessary background for teachers of high school statistics.

The outline of this Module is constructed from several notable high school and college statistics texts and the AP Program Topic Outline. As a result, be aware that the outline of our Module may not coincide exactly with your primary AP text.

The general pattern for the module will consist of reading specific sections of the primary AP textbook, working through the units, and then completing and submitting the assignments. In some cases, the assignments can be done with a graphing calculator such as the TI-84+. Assignments will be submitted in electronic format to the instructor via the Internet.

More details on each individual unit are given below:

Unit 1: Exploring Data: Introduction to Descriptive Statistics and Overview of Statistics Websites: The World Wide Web will be explored as a resource for statistics instruction. Participants will learn how to use the web as a resource by exploring various statistics websites.

Unit 2: Statistical Tables and Graphs: Data will be found and presented using a variety of tables and graphs that students will learn to create and understand.  

Unit 3: Summarizing Data: Centers and Spreads: Participants will examine centers of data (mean, median, mode), ways of measuring spread (variation and standard deviation).

Unit 4: Linear Relationships: Regression and Correlation: Participants will explore linear relationships in data by studying scatterplots, correlation, regression, and addressing the question of causation.

Unit 5: Probability and Expected Value: Participants will examine experimental probability, probability models, random sampling, and expected value.

Unit 6: Probability Distributions: Participants will be introduced to probability distributions--specifically the Binomial and Normal.

Required Materials

In addition to the general requirements for participating in Math Teacher Link, this module also has the following requirements:

This course requires an AP Statistics Text as the primary text, and any approved AP text may be used. Such texts include, but are not limited to:

Modules 6A and 6B are not linked to a particular text, and are purposely written textbook-independent. Although assignments require internet access, enrollees may, at times elect to use data sets from the AP textbook for required assignments.

Step By Step

We estimate that the work that you will do for each unit in this module will take about 25 hours to complete. You can do the work at school or at home, and you can fit it into your schedule however you see fit. We recommend that you set aside some time, about ten hours each week, to work on the module. This should enable you to finish each unit within 15 weeks from the time that you start. The full content for this course is accessible by going to our Moodle Working Environment. You can access all of the content as a guest. If you choose to enroll in the course, then you are also given access to the area where you turn in your work for grading and receive support from us.