What every high school graduate should know about statistics

Reflections on statistics: Learning, teaching, and assessment in grades K-12
Scheaffer, R. L., Watkins, A. E., & Landwehr, J. M.
Lajoie, S. P.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Mahwah, NJ

Statistics is not about numbers, statistics is about numbers in context. Statistics is not the same as probability. But some probability is necessary to understand certain statistical topics, while other statistical topics do not depend on probability. Statistics is not the same as mathematics. But an appropriate level of mathematics is needed to understand any statistical topic, and understanding statistics can contribute to an understanding of mathematics. Statistics is not the same as the scientific method. Yet statistics helps solve problems in science, engineering, medicine, business, and many other fields. Using statistics is inherently interdisciplinary. While using statistics demands that one understand the problem, the reason that statistics is so powerful is that key statistical concepts, methods and ideas are applicable in so many different problem contexts. This paper discusses the key concepts in statistics that students must learn in the K-12 curriculum so that all high school graduates can become productive citizens and use quantitative information effectively. The topics are organized and discussed in terms of number sense, planning studies, data analysis, probability, and statistical or inferential reasoning.

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