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Statistics: What has changed?

Following the introduction of the *New Zealand Curriculum *in 2007, there are significant changes in the way statistics is taught and the way desired learning is packaged as achievement objectives.

## Students should be using the whole statistical enquiry cycle

Students should be using the whole cycle, ensuring that the problem, the plan, the data, the analysis, and the conclusion are transparent in whatever they do.

## Students are learning to become data detectives

Students are expected to use exploratory data analysis. Context plays an important role in the statistics classroom, with the focus moving from students’ general knowledge to students searching out relevant contextual knowledge. Contextual knowledge plays an important role in the entire statistical enquiry cycle.

## Reasoning is more important than construction or calculation

Students should be reasoning and writing about plots and statistics, rather than making lots of calculations and drawing plots. Statistics should use computers and simulations to allow students to focus on reasoning with and about data. Students should use technology to create plots and other data displays.

## Conceptual understanding is built across the levels

There is an emphasis on building conceptual understanding across the levels, particularly students’ inferential understanding. The use of two-way tables, dot and box plots, histograms, and scatter plots is expected at all levels.

## Mean and median should always be related to a distribution

The mean and median are properties of distributions rather than stand-alone statistics.

## Students engage with ideas embedded in text and graphs

Students need to work with and comprehend text and associated graphs, critiquing and interpreting statistical ideas embedded in the text. They need to be able to ask questions to seek clarification and further understanding.

## Students need to understand probability concepts

Students need to understand the underlying concepts of probability and not just use the rules. They also need to understand both the differences between theoretical and experimental probability distributions and the connections between them.

## Probability is about distributions

Students should see the whole rather than just calculating the probability of a single event.

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Last updated March 1, 2012

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