Case Study of the Quality of High School Statistics Instruction
|School||East China Normal University|
|Keywords||high school the quality of statistics instruction accuracy richness interaction student engagement|
Since entering the21st century, statistics becomes to be one of the important contents for mathematics curriculum in secondary and primary schools, which aims at developing students’ conceptions of data analysis. There are a few differences between statistical thinking and mathematical thinking. In that way, how is the quality of statistical instruction in senior high schools in our country? What kinds of errors are likely to occur in statistical instruction of teachers? How does interaction between teachers and students promote or obstruct developments of students’ statistical thinking? What about the extent of students’ involvement?The research adopts case study approach, by focusing on statistics instruction of four teachers (one male and three female) in two high schools in Shanxi province, which is intended to go deeply into the quality of statistical education in senior high schools.On the basic of class observation and watching video-taped lessons repeatedly, we develop the framework for analyzing statistical instruction of senior high schools, taking teaching triangle put forward by Cohen as conceptual framework, combining characteristics of statistics, and referring to cultural backgrounds, present situations and study experiences of our country’ s classroom analysis. The analytical framework includes four dimensions with ten codes in all, and each code is given three levels of description in detail.Afterwards, we apply the analytical framework to analyze the quality of four teachers’ thirteen statistics lessons from four dimensions, including accuracy, richness, generation and participation.The study results show that four teachers attached importance to drawing into core concepts of statistics by using students’real-life situations as carrier and medium in teaching process, which was in accordance with fundamental principle of new curriculum. However, the study results also demonstrate that the quality of statistical instruction of four teachers has the following characteristics:(1) From the perspective of accuracy, there were errors occurred on statistical knowledge, statistical language, drawing and explanation of statistical diagram by four teachers. Those errors affected development of students’statistical thinking to some extent.(2) From the perspective of richness, four teachers made some deviations on sources of statistical task situation, levels of recognition and modes of presentation. There were a few problems on explanations of statistical contents, descriptions of teaching objectives and connections between statistical graphs and numerical features.(3) From the perspective of interaction between the teacher and the students, four teachers rarely directly gave responses to questions raised by students and they scarcely explained the reasons hiding behind students’ mistakes.(4) From the perspective of student engagement, students were usually involved in recalling statistical factual knowledge or carrying out procedural knowledge, less joining activities of statistical conceptual knowledge.Problems exist in teachers’ statistical education reflects shortages of teachers’ statistical literacy. The results inspire us that it’s not enough to pay attention to improving teaching skills of in-service teacher training, and the key is to raise teachers’ level of subject-involved knowledge. In preservice teacher education, statistics instruction classes for statistical education in secondary and primary schools should be emphasized. Curriculum compilers should focus on providing with rich statistical materials, in order that teachers may enhance statistical literacy along with teaching.