Preparing Pre-K-12 Teachers of Statistics
A Joint Position Statement of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
and the American Statistical Association (ASA)
Question: What preparation and support do teachers need to successfully support students' learning of statistics in the prekindergarten–grade 12 curriculum?
Students, teachers, administrators, employers, and others increasingly recognize statistics and data science as important scientific fields 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. Teachers of secondary-level data science must have knowledge of developing students’ statistical and computational thinking in the presence of data. Consequently, the need is critical for high-quality preservice and in-service preparation and professional development that supports PK–12 teachers of mathematics and statistics, new and experienced, in developing their own statistical proficiency as well as their students’ understanding of and skill in working with statistics and data science. The preparation of PK–12 teachers of statistics and data science must also include explicit attention to equitable use of statistics and data and critical data literacy.
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.
Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS). 2012. The Mathematical Education of Teachers II. Vol. 17 of Issues in
Mathematics Education. Providence, RI: American Mathematical Society; Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of
American Statistical Association (ASA). 2015. Statistical Education of Teachers. Alexandria, VA: ASA. https://www.amstat.org/docs/default-source/amstat-documents/edu-set.pdf.
American Statistical Association (ASA). 2020. Pre-K–12 Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) Report
II: A Framework for Statistics and Data Science Education. Alexandria, VA: ASA. https://www.amstat.org/asa/files/pdfs/GAISE/GAISEIIPreK-12_Full.pdf.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). 2014. Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All. Reston, VA:
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). 2018. Catalyzing Change in High School Mathematics: Initiating Critical
Conversations. Reston, VA: NCTM.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). 2020a. Catalyzing Change in Early Childhood and Elementary Mathematics:
Initiating Critical Conversations. Reston, VA: NCTM.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). 2020b. Catalyzing Change in Middle School Mathematics: Initiating Critical
Conversations. Reston, VA: NCTM.
National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). 2010.
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Common Core State Standards (College and Career-Readiness Standards and K–12
Standards in English Language Arts and Math). Washington, DC: NGA Center and CCSSO. http://www.corestandards.org.
The following publications and other resources offer additional support for this joint statement of NCTM and ASA:
American Statistical Association. Statistics Education Web (STEW). Online peer-reviewed lesson plans. Alexandria, VA: Author.
American Statistical Association–National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Joint Committee on Curriculum in Statistics and Probability for Grades K–12. (1982–). The Statistics Teacher Network. Newsletter published three times a year. Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association.
Hopfensperger, Patrick, Tim Jacobbe, Deborah Lurie, & Jerry Moreno.
(2012). Bridging the Gap Between Common Core State Standards and Teaching Statistics. Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association.
House, Peggy (Ed). (2001–2009). Principles and Standards for School Mathematics Navigations Series. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). 2000. Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. Reston, VA: NCTM. https://www.nctm.org/Standards-and-Positions/Principles-and-Standards/.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2009). Focus in High School Mathematics: Reasoning and Sense Making. Reston, VA: NCTM.
Starnes, Daren S., & Roxy Peck. (2009). Making Sense of Statistical Studies. Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association.
Zbiek, Rose Mary. ed. (2010–). Essential Understanding Series. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. http://www.nctm.org/store/eu/