Preparing Pre-K-12 Teachers of Statistics
A Joint Position Statement of the American Statistical Association (ASA)
and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
Question: What preparation and support do teachers need to successfully support students' learning of statistics in the pre-K–12 curriculum?
Students, teachers, administrators, employers, and others increasingly recognize statistics as an important scientific field of study. Mathematics content standards emphasize that the development of statistical thinking begins in the early grades and extends into and beyond high school. To successfully develop students' statistical thinking, teachers must have deep knowledge and understanding of statistics and the way that students learn statistics. Consequently, the need is critical for high-quality preservice and in-service preparation and professional development that supports pre-K–12 teachers of mathematics, new and experienced, in developing their own statistical proficiency as well as their students' understanding of and skill in working with statistics.
Statistics informs and enhances important skills, such as thinking critically and scientifically, understanding data and charts, making decisions in the presence of uncertainty, and assessing risk. As our society becomes increasingly data intense and information based, statistical literacy skills are all the more important for today's citizens and a competitive work force.
To meet the challenge of preparing teachers to teach statistics:
ASA and NCTM are committed to taking appropriate action within the structures of their organizations to assist in guiding the implementation of these recommendations.