News

Thursday, March 16, 2017 12:00:00 PM NZDT – 1:00:00 PM NZDT

What can we learn from large-scale national and international assessments? NCTM President Matt Larson will discuss in more detail his January President’s Message. Join us  as he provides a combined analysis of the results from the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) scores, the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), and the 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), and recommends actions that we can take together.

Register here for free at NCTM

Our press release with insights into our students’ pocket money received a range of media coverage, including:

Six in 10 schoolchildren taking part in the national CensusAtSchool TataurangaKiTeKura reported that they received pocket money, an allowance or a cash gift the week before participating, getting a median of $15.

The insight has emerged from early results of CensusAtSchool, an online, biennial statistics project that shows students the relevance of statistics to everyday life. In class, Year 5 to Year 13 students (aged 9 to 18) use digital devices to answer 35 online questions in English or te reo Māori, providing a unique snapshot of Kiwi childhoods.

The census asked how much money students had received in the past week, whether pocket money, an allowance or a gift. Fifty-nine per cent said they had received something, with the median amount (the middle amount in the range reported) $15.

A quarter of those students received $1-$6, and another quarter got $30 or more.

Breaking the numbers down further, primary school students received a median of $10. Secondary school students got a median of $20.

CensusAtSchool co-director Rachel Cunliffe, a mother of four, says that pocket money is a perennial topic of conversation among parents. “There are a lot of questions,” she says. “Should you give your kids pocket money? If so, at what age, and how much? Should pocket money be tied to completing chores, or not? And should we incentivise the kids to save their pocket money?”

She adds, “There’s no rulebook on this – but there does come a time when your kids start asking. My eldest, who’s eight, has just started asking about pocket money as some of his friends now get an allowance, so my husband and I have been deciding our approach.”

CensusAtSchool also asked whether students had part-time jobs. Overall, more boys (25%) than girls (18%) had part-time work in the week before they did the census. Boys were earning more money (a median of $30) than girls ($20).

Just 18% of primary-school students had part-time jobs, earning a median of $15.

A total of 28% of high-school students had part-time jobs, earning a median of $80. Of that group, a quarter reported earning $160 or more a week.

CensusAtSchool also asked students how much money they spent and gave away. A total of 24% of students reported spending or giving away more in the previous week than they had received or earned that week.

This year’s edition of CensusAtSchool started on February 7. Teachers can register their classes and take part at any time before it finishes on July 7. CensusAtSchool is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people, and is carried out in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Japan and South Africa. The countries share some questions so comparisons can be made.

In New Zealand, CensusAtSchool started 2003, and is run by the University of Auckland’s Department of Statistics with support from Statistics NZ and the Ministry of Education.

 

Thanks to Leanne Stewart of Aorangi School Rotorua for sharing these photos of her class taking part in CensusAtSchool!

Aorangi School Rotorua taking part in CensusAtSchool

Aorangi School Rotorua taking part in CensusAtSchool

Aorangi School Rotorua taking part in CensusAtSchool

Aorangi School Rotorua taking part in CensusAtSchool

Thanks to Mike Davey of Awahono School – Grey Valley for these great shots of his class taking part in CensusAtSchool!

CensusAtSchool 2017

Students will be able to see how their pocket money stacks up against their peers and whether they’re getting less after-school screen time when they become data detectives in this year’s CensusAtSchool TataurangaKiTeKura.

The online statistics project, which starts today, is open to all English and Māori-medium schools. Teachers can register their classes and take part in CensusAtSchool at any time before it finishes on 7 July.

In class, students aged 9 to 18 (Year 5 to Year 13) use digital devices to answer 35 questions in English or te reo Māori about their lives and opinions.

The census explores present-day childhood; for example, asking students about whether they get pocket money, and how much; whether their screen time after school is limited; and if anything in their lunchbox that day was grown at home. Students also carry out practical activities such as weighing the laptops and tablets they take to school.

Ministry of Education deputy secretary Karl Le Quesne says more than 830 teachers from over 530 schools have already registered to take part in CensusAtSchool in their maths and statistics classes. From mid-June, the data will be released for teachers to use in the classroom.

“CensusAtSchool gives teachers relevant, real-life data to help students tell stories about themselves and their peers,” Mr Le Quesne says. “Students become data detectives, mining the census to reveal the stories hidden in the data. The CensusAtSchool questions are wide-ranging, and in analysing the answers, teachers have opportunities to start conversations that touch on many areas of the curriculum, including technology, sport, and environmental studies.”

CensusAtSchool started in 2003. Every two years, the University of Auckland’s Department of Statistics runs this census, with support from Statistics NZ and the Ministry of Education.

Statistics NZ’s education manager Andrew Tideswell says that in our data-driven world, statistical literacy is as important as knowing how to read and write. “People with statistical skills are very attractive to employers, but statistical literacy isn’t just about careers. If you’re confident with data, you have a valuable toolkit to negotiate everyday life.”

CensusAtSchool is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people. Teachers and students in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Japan, and South Africa take part. The countries share some questions, which allows students to make international comparisons.

Message from NZAMT received from NZQA 13th October regarding the 2016 External Examinations for AS1.3, 1.6 and 1.12:

We have had notification from NZQA that they believe schools will find the Level 1 examination papers for November consistent with their expectations and recent previous assessment of the identified standards.  Hence schools can confidently use recent past NZQA examinations  (since the 2011 realignment of L1 standards) in preparing their students for the external examinations.

Posted by Derek Smith

Future Learn are offering a new online course combining coding and data analysis skills.

“Software and data make the world go round.” Learn programming, to analyse and visualise open data, with this free online course that starts on the 10th of October.

Share this with students or colleagues that have one or both of these topics as an interest. The coding language is Python.

Learn more and sign up.

A webinar for you or your students, brought to you by the American Statistical Association.

Statisticians and data scientists are employed by all types of organizations, including professional sports teams. Join the AMA sports analytics webinar to learn what sports statisticians do and what education is required to become the “Bill James” of your favorite sport.

View the webinar details here. Remember to set your alarm!

Mathematics and Statistics are both core members of the STEM subjects and potent enablers of all the others. This document clarifies what is distinctive about statistics and its educational needs.

What distinguishes Statistics from the rest of “Mathematics and Statistics?”

Statistics is the science of learning from data and of measuring, controlling and communicating uncertainty” (American Statistical Association). It has real data at its core, and its defining purpose is learning about the real world by collecting, analysing, and interpreting data. Anything else simply provides a means that may be useful for achieving those ends. Concerns about uncertainty and data variation lead to distinctive thought processes.

How Statistics is changing

While the most fundamental, underpinning concepts of statistics are unchanging, the means by which we extract insights from data are changing rapidly as a result of digital technology – and technologically enabled advances, such as advances in data visualisation and data wrangling, are making its benefits accessible to a much wider cross-section of students and society. The nature and size of the data we have to deal with is changing rapidly too (e.g. the rise of big data), as is its increasing ubiquity.

Because of ongoing changes in the technologies people interact with and the automation of routine processes, skills in thinking with data, and skills in communicating the real-world lessons we learn from data, are becoming much more important (for almost everyone) than skills in doing.

How Statistics pedagogy is changing

The shifts from doing to thinking and communicating, and from “by-hand” construction to the routine use of digital technology, pose huge challenges: for teachers because they were themselves educated in the historical modes; and for a system that relies on changes being slow enough so that the majority of examiners, textbook writers, experienced teachers, etc. can be current.

What Statistics needs

Statistics education in New Zealand needs mechanisms for transmitting core learnings from very small numbers of specialists to the system as a whole. What it means to teach “thinking” and “communicating” about data, and arriving at understandings of how to go about that, are things that very small numbers of thinkers, researchers and lead teachers are developing, drawing on fundamental educational principles and real-world experience with data analysis. These learnings are not something that can just happen in Learning Communities, though these Communities should be a very useful downstream component of dissemination and professional development strategies.

What Statistics has

In New Zealand we have some of the best statistics education researchers in the world, the most forward-looking curriculum, many innovative and creative teachers, excellent relationships between stakeholders, excellent international connections, and a desire for continued progress.

Collaboration

The Education Committee of the New Zealand Statistical Association (NZSA) is very keen to work with any stakeholder who wishes to further improve New Zealand’s statistical education system so that it gives a more valuable preparation for the future lives and careers of our students, and helps build a more data literate and capable society.

Education Committee, New Zealand Statistical Association, 1 August 2016

(To contact, email the Committee’s Convenor: alasdair.noble@agresearch.co.nz)