I. course: mth 508. Statistics for Teachers

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MTH 508 -

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Department of Education

I. COURSE: MTH 508. Statistics for Teachers. Statistics for teachers surveys the statistical methods used in math and everyday life and addresses the problem of pedagogy and statistical misconceptions. The course also examines modern educational technology and software used in statistics. (3 credits)


Dr. David Rock

Office: Group I – 398F

Phone: 508-910-6989 (office)

Email: drock@umassd.edu

Office Hours: M-W 10:00 - 11:00 or by appointment

II. Mission Statement

The Education Department is committed to the preparation of educators who have a

sensitivity toward multicultural issues, an awareness of the particular concerns of urban

education, knowledge of the unique needs and styles of individual learners, and a conscious

knowledge of the role of schools in promoting social justice in the 21st Century. Our

mission is to deliver clearly defined teacher preparation programs at the undergraduate, post

baccalaureate, and graduate levels. In addition to a rigorous preparation in subject-matter

fields, teacher candidates develop their ability to apply pedagogical theory to practice and

reflect on the complexities inherent in their craft.


A. Primary Text

Johnson, R. & Kuby, P. (2005). Just the Essentials of Elementary Statistics. 9th edition. Belmont, CA: Duxbury-Thomson Learning. ISBN 0-534-99945-X

B. Supplemental Text

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Principles and Standards for School

Mathematics (2000). www.nctm.org .

Massachusetts Department of Education. (2000). Mathematics Curriculum Frameworks. www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/current.html

C. Assigned Readings

Selected articles and handouts from instructors on specific topics.


The purpose of this course is to explore content, materials, methods, and strategies for the teaching and learning of statistics and probability in elementary and middle school mathematics. Focus of the course will be on data analysis and probability identified in the NCTM standards and Massachusetts Mathematics Curriculum Frameworks. Additional emphasis will be placed on the effective use of technology as a teaching and learning tool for elementary and middle school mathematics. As students work, they will be involved in problem-solving, reasoning, communicating, and connecting topics of probability and statistics which are emphasized by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000) and Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks (2000).


The Candidates will be able to:

 Identify, discuss, and apply concepts relating to Data Analysis and Probability (NBPTS 1,2,4,5) [MCF-M: Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability.]

 Demonstrate and employ effective problem solving strategies. (NBPTS 1,2,3,4,5)

 Effectively communicate mathematical concepts. (NBPTS 2,4,5)

 Engage in problem solving and cooperative learning activities relating to elementary and middle school mathematics. (NBPTS 1, 2, 4, 5)

Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them. (NBPTS 1, 2, 4) [MCF-M: Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability.]

Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data. (NBPTS 1, 2, 4) [MCF- M: Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability.]

Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data. (NBPTS 1, 2, 4) [MCF-M: Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability.]

Understand and apply basic concepts of probability. (NBPTS 1, 2, 4) [MCF-M: Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability.]


Date Topic Assignment

9-27 Introduction

Massachusetts Frameworks

NCTM Standards

What is statistics?

10-4 Basic Terminology Chapter 1

Data Collection.

Relations of probability to statistics

10-11 Data Representation read p. 38-52


Circle graphs

Bar graphs


10-18 Data Representation read p. 52-68


Frequency Distributions and Lists


10-25 Measures of Central Tendency read p. 68-86

Measures of Dispersion read p. 94-106

Measures of Position

11-1 Standard Deviation read p. 106-116

Statistical Deception

11-8 Bivariate Data read p. 130 - 144

11-15 Linear Correlation read p. 145 - 153

11-22 Linear Regression read p. 154 - 164

11-29 Linear Regression

Presentations Presentations

12-6 Test

12-13 Presentations Presentations


A. Course Requirements

1. Attend all classes.

2. Complete all assignments.

3. Participate in class discussions and activities.

4. Maintain positive attitude and working relationship with the instructor and all fellow candidates.

5. Homework Activities (5-10 points each) Each candidate is required to complete out of class assignments provided by the instructor in class. These homework assignments are due the following class meeting.

6. Guided Activities (10 points each) Each candidate is required to complete in class activities that relate to the topic of the particular class. There will be no make-up work for Guided Activities.

7. Journal Article Presentation (20 points each). Each candidate will read one article dealing with the teaching and learning of data analysis, statistics, and probability in elementary or middle school mathematics from Teaching Children Mathematics, Teaching Mathematics in the Middle School, School Science and Mathematics, The Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, On-Math, or NCTM Yearbooks. The candidate will present a brief summary of the article and reflection on how the information can affect the teaching and/or learning of data analysis, probability, or statistics. Each candidate will also prepare a one page handout for each member of the class providing the bibliographic information of the article, a brief summary, and brief reflection.

8. Quiz (10 points each) Short assessments will include content and material from assigned reading, course lectures and activities. Lowest quiz grade will be dropped. There are no make-up quizzes.

9. Test (50 points) Assessment will include material from readings and class presentations.

10. Data Analysis Presentation (50 points). Each candidate will collect data over a 1-week period. The candidate will present the collected data to the class. The presentation will include the following information: Introduction (A description of the data collected, why you selected this data to collect, hypotheses), Procedures (specifically how the data was collected – time and instruments), and Results (explanation of results, computer generated graph of representing the data). The candidate will also provide a one-two page paper with the above information for instructor and other candidates in the class.

B. Field Experience and Clinical Practice

Not applicable

C. Assessment Procedure

Rubrics and checklists will be used to determine candidate achievement of the course objectives listed under VI. All required assignments will be given a specific grade. Grades will be computed using the following scale:

A+ 99% - 100%

A 93% - 98%

A- 90% - 92%

B+ 87% - 89%

B 83% - 86%

B- 80% - 82%

C+ 77% - 79%

C 73% - 76%

C- 70% - 72%

D+ 67% - 69%

D 63% - 66%

D- 60% - 62%

F below 60%

All assignments and examinations should be completed on the announced due dates. Assignments turned in after their due dates will have points deducted from the final score. Make-up work must be approved by the instructor.

D. Instructional Strategies

The course will include lecture, class discussion, demonstrations and presentations, cooperative/collaborative group learning activities, work with technology.

E. Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy: Attendance and participation in class are expected. Excessive absences will adversely affect the final grade for the course. Candidates are responsible for all material covered when absent.

F. Policies Related to Students with Disabilities

Section 504 and the American Disabilities Act of 1990 offer guidelines for curriculum modifications and adaptations for students with documented disabilities. Any student with disabilities must register through the UMass Dartmouth offices (located in the Counseling Center on the Dartmouth campus). The instructor will then be happy to work with the student so that a reasonable accommodation of any disability can be made.


A. Recommended Reading Lists and Bibliography

Hinkle, D. E., Wiersma, W., & Jurs, S. G. (2003). Applied statistics for the behavioral sciences (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Mann, P. S. (2004). Introductory Statistics. (5th ed.). Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Germain-McCarthy, Y. (1999). Bringing the NCTM standards to life. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.

Gullberg, J. (1997). Mathematics From the Birth of Numbers. New York, NY: Norton & Company.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2003). Teaching Mathematics Through Problem Solving: PreK - 6. Reston, VA: Author. [www.nctm.org]

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (1989). Curriculum and evaluation standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: Author. [www.nctm.org]

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (1991). Professional standards for teaching mathematics. Reston, VA: Author. [www.nctm.org]

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (1995). Assessment standards for school

mathematics. Reston, VA: Author. [www.nctm.org]

Polya, G. (1945). How to solve it. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Reform Documents

Mathematical Sciences Education Board. (1990). Reshaping school mathematics. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

National Commission on Excellence in Education. (1983). A nation at risk: The imperative for educational reform. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). (1980). An agenda for action:

Recommendations for school mathematics for the 1980s. Reston, VA: Author. [www.nctm.org]

National Research Council. (1989). Everybody counts: A report to the nation on the future of mathematics education. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Professional Journals

Teaching Children Mathematics (until 1994, Arithmetic Teacher). National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. This well-known journal addresses many aspects of teaching mathematics to children, pre-k through sixth grade. Articles by most authors are well-grounded in research. Numerous photos, illustrations, and figures make the text easy-to-read and meaningful. Focus issues, usually appearing in February, explore selected topics in depth. Authors address current trends and concerns in mathematics education. Current issues focus on implementation of the various NCTM Standards.

Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Intended for teachers of grades 5-9, this NCTM journal appears four times yearly; it started in 1994.

School Science and Mathematics. School Science and Mathematics Association. This versatile journal presents material on teaching and learning of math and science. Articles range from practical classroom applications to in-depth study of advanced topics to research studies conducted in schools and universities. Though not as profusely illustrated as Teaching Children Mathematics and Mathematics Teacher, articles pertinent to elementary are clear, timely, and interesting.

Journal of Research in Mathematics Education. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Articles in this journal describe research at all levels--from kindergarten to college. The articles will convey research results and may also suggest intriguing and workable research designs.

B. All UMass Dartmouth students are expected to maintain high standards of academic integrity and scholarly practice. The University does not tolerate academic dishonesty of any variety, whether as result of a failure to understand proper academic and scholarly procedure, or as an act of intentional dishonesty.

http://www.umassd.edu/studenthandbook/academicregs/ethicalstandards.cfm provides detailed information from the student handbook.

Plagiarism:  In any situation, plagiarism is a serious offense and may result in a failing grade in this course.  Since much of your work in this class requires the use of an outside source, the citation of sources is mandatory.  I expect every student in this class to under the necessity of citing your sources in all academic work in order to avoid plagiarism.  For a thorough explanation of plagiarism, see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/print/research/r_plagiar.html

C. Flexibility Clause

The aforementioned requirements, assignments, policies, evaluation procedures, etc., are subject to change. Candidates' experiences and needs, as well as emerging knowledge, will be considered in modifying this course syllabus.

D. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards: Five Core Propositions

Proposition #1: Teachers are Committed to Students and Their Learning
Proposition #2: Teachers Know the Subjects They Teach and How to Teach Those Subjects to Students
Proposition #3: Teachers are Responsible for Managing and Monitoring Student Learning
Proposition #4: Teachers Think Systematically About Their Practice and Learn from Experience
Proposition #5: Teachers are Members of Learning Communities


E. Massachusetts Curriculum Framework Mathematics (MCF-M)

Strand 1: Number Sense and Operations

Strand 2: Patterns, Relations, and Algebra

Strand 3: Geometry

Strand 4: Measurement

Strand 5: Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability



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