Statistical thinking: How can we develop it?

In Bulletin of the International Statistical Institute 54th Session Proceedings (Voorburg, The Netherlands)
Pfannkuch, M., Wild, C.
Berlin, 2003

Wild & Pfannkuch (1999) stated that statistical thinking comprises four dimensions: an investigative cycle, types of thinking, an interrogative cycle, and dispositions. The four dimensions contain generic and specific statistical thinking habits and are operative within the thinker simultaneously. The five types of thinking that were identified as fundamental elements in statistical thinking were: recognition of the need for data, transnumeration, consideration of statistical thinking models, and integrating the statistical with the contextual. When considering the framework and these types of thinking many questions arise for learning, teaching, and the curriculum such as: How are these types of thinking manifested in beginning students? Are there particular ways of teaching that can elicit such thinking? How does the teacher draw students' attention to notice and to attend to this thinking? How is such a habit of thinking communicated in a curriculum document? The purpose of the framwork was to characterize statistical thinking rather than define students' growth in statistical thinking and was not primarily intended to address teaching.

The CAUSE Research Group is supported in part by a member initiative grant from the American Statistical Association’s Section on Statistics and Data Science Education