In 2014, the Australian Maths and Science Partnership Program (coordinated by the Australian Government Department of Education) funded the national Islands in Schools Project. The purpose of this project was to improve junior secondary school students' engagement with statistics and to provide maths and science teachers with innovative, classroom-ready resources for teaching statistics through data investigations. The learning activities developed were based upon the Islands, a free virtual human population. Professional learning resources to assist teacher preparation for using the resources were also provided. A total of 12 partnered secondary schools from across Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia participated. This led to 73 maths and science teachers and in excess of 1,900 students from years 7 to 12 participating in the project. This paper reports the findings from feedback provided by 26 teachers involved in the implementation of the Islands-based activities. The indings provide valuable insight into the teachers' experience of using the resources in their classrooms and the major challenges they faced with engaging students in statistics. The findings are discussed within the context of refining the resources, the challenge of teaching statistics through data investigations in schools, and improving teacher professional learning for statistics education.
39th Australian Conference on Teaching Statistics (OZCOTS): Big Data: Mining, Analysing, Teaching, Canberra, Australia 5-9 December 2016
Proceedings of the 39th Australian Conference on Teaching Statistics / Helen MacGilivray, Michael A Martin, Brian Phillips (eds): pp.16-21