Intro Statistics before/in Conjunction with Calculus and Math Curriculum Reform?

What should be taught before and in conjunction with calculus: more statistics, more during Algebra 2 and calculus. So kids can see where lots of neat real-world polynomial equations come from: linear and non linear regression. That would be a great addition to any math/science curriculum and could be used to combine teaching on several topics in a hands on and synergistic manner.
[Edited to add “in conjunction with”]


2 Responses

  1. I dont agree, I must say, at least in part. There is a lot to statistics. I agree that some basics descriptive statistics: means, modes, etc, could be taught. In fact, some of it already is. You cant tell me you werent ever introduced to the “average” until statistics!

    Now, here is where I disagree. Inferential statistics, probability distributions, etc, should not be taught before basic calculus. Students wont understand where that material comes from. They will have a more difficult time understanding and remembering if all it is to them is another equation to memorize. They need to grasp the foundations, they need to conceptualize where its from and they need to see a proof at least once… or else it will just be regurgitation on exams and after the course they will commence their routine hard-drive reformat until next semester rolls around.

    Not all students learn the way you wish to teach. I appreciate the fact that some students learn math only if they have a passion inspired by practical application. I am not like that though. I dont desperately need to see an immediate and practical use right off the bat, or ever for that matter. Im a pure mathematician. In fact, if you were to teach practicality, it would have turned me off from math, not on. And there are many students out there like me. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the best mathematicians in this world are pure mathematicians who couldnt give a ********* about practical application.

    • That’s true, so maybe not before calculus, but more statistics could be taught in conjunction with/simultaneously with calculus.

      Also I think for a majority of kids who traditionally have ended up becoming pure mathematicians, they probably have innate interest in math to begin with and are good at it no matter the teaching style. But for a lot of other kids, they can end up not learning much math at all (the US in general is known for high levels of math illiteracy), and for these kids teaching style can potentially matter alot.

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