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On Becoming a Statistician-A Qualitative View

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  • Peter Petocz
  • Anna Reid

Abstract

In this paper, we highlight some qualitative facets of the discipline of statistics and argue that a qualitative approach, in particular a qualitative methodology known as phenomenography, allows us to research important aspects of statistics pedagogy. We summarize several components of our recent research into students' conceptions of statistics, their learning of statistics, our teaching of statistics, and their perceptions of their future professional work. We have obtained this information on the basis of analyses of several series of interviews with students studying statistics, both as statistics majors and as service students. In each of these cases, the broadest views relate in some way to personal connection, growth, and change. In other words, they contain a strong ontological component-focusing on being or becoming a statistician-above and beyond the standard epistemological component-focusing on the knowledge required to do statistics. We discuss the importance of personal change in becoming a statistician, or an informed professional user of statistics, and investigate the pedagogical conditions under which such change is likely to occur. Copyright (c) 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2010 International Statistical Institute.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Petocz & Anna Reid, 2010. "On Becoming a Statistician-A Qualitative View," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, vol. 78(2), pages 271-286, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:istatr:v:78:y:2010:i:2:p:271-286
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joan Garfield & Dani Ben-Zvi, 2007. "How Students Learn Statistics Revisited: A Current Review of Research on Teaching and Learning Statistics," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, vol. 75(3), pages 372-396, December.
    2. Chris Wild, 2007. "Virtual Environments and the Acceleration of Experiential Learning," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, vol. 75(3), pages 322-335, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chris J. Wild, 2016. "Discussion: Locating Statistics in the World of Finding Out," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, vol. 84(2), pages 194-202, August.
    2. Thomas King, 2013. "A framework for analysing social sequences," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 167-191, January.
    3. Iddo Gal & Irena Ograjensek, 2010. "Qualitative Research in the Service of Understanding Learners and Users of Statistics," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, vol. 78(2), pages 287-296, August.
    4. Irena Ograjenšek & Iddo Gal, 2016. "Enhancing Statistics Education by Including Qualitative Research," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, vol. 84(2), pages 165-178, August.

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