Sunday, 13 April 2014

Stats and I-USE - preparing for GA conference session

One of the workshops that I am taking part in at the GA Conference is related to to the I-USE project, which is one of the EU projects I'm currently taking part in. This is aimed at developing teachers' ability in statistical literacy.

Statistics were also in many people's minds earlier this week when the new GCSE Subject Content guidance for Geography was released.

Appendix: Use of mathematics and statistics in geography 

The list below outlines the range and extent of mathematical and statistical techniques considered appropriate to geography GCSE. The following should all be covered in any specification. Examples in bold are to aid understanding and suggest range, and these are not compulsory. 
Cartographic skills 
 use and understand gradient, contour and spot height on OS maps and other isoline maps (e.g. weather charts, ocean bathymetric charts) 
 interpret cross sections and transects
 use and understand coordinates, scale and distance
 describe and interpret geo-spatial data presented in a GIS framework (e.g. analysis of flood hazard using the interactive maps on the Environment Agency website)

Graphical skills 
 select and construct appropriate graphs and charts to present data, using appropriate scales and including bar charts, pie charts, pictograms, line charts, histograms with equal class intervals
 interpret and extract information from different types of graphs and charts including any of the above and others relevant to the topic (e.g. triangular graphs, radial graphs, wind rose diagrams, proportional symbols) 
 interpret population pyramids, choropleth maps and flow-line maps

Numerical skills 
 demonstrate an understanding of number, area and scale and the quantitative relationships between units
 design fieldwork data collection sheets and collect data with an understanding of accuracy, sample size and procedures, control groups and reliability
 understand and correctly use proportion and ratio, magnitude and frequency (e.g. 1:200 flood; and logarithmic scales such as the Richter scale, in orders of magnitude) 
 draw informed conclusions from numerical data

Statistical skills 
 use appropriate measures of central tendency, spread and cumulative frequency (median, mean, range, quartiles and inter-quartile range, mode and modal class)
 calculate percentage increase or decrease and understand the use of percentiles
 describe relationships in bivariate data: sketch trend lines through scatter plots; draw estimated lines of best fit; make predictions; interpolate and extrapolate trends
 be able to identify weaknesses in selective statistical presentation of data

We'll explore these at the meeting and make sure that we cover them.
Finally, here is David Rogers' view on the changes, which makes interesting reading as does the GA's thoughts on the document.

Also some really interesting thoughts from Carl Phillips here.

Come along to the I-USE workshop at the GA Conference 2014, on Wednesday next week at 9am - we'll be talking about support for statistics.

Follow us on Twitter @StatsinEdu for more details

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