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Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks 1st Edition

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0198572244
ISBN-10: 0198572247
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Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks + What is a p-value anyway? 34 Stories to Help You Actually Understand Statistics + The Cartoon Guide to Statistics
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"This exciting new volume takes a positive spin on the field of statistics." -- The Bulletin of Mathematics Books.


"Most teachers of statistics spend a great deal of time collecting and concocting a file of activities while wishing for a single source of good ideas. This book is the answer to their needs."--Mathematics Teacher


About the Author

Andrew Gelman is a Professor, Department of Statistics, Columbia University. Deborah Nolan is a Professor, Department of Statistics, University of California.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198572247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198572244
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.6 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Schwartz on June 18, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Introductory statistics is a course dreaded by many students, and even some teaching staff, and for good reason: many introductory statistics courses deal with examples that are distant from students' experience, and so students never care about the course material, and focus simply on surviving the course by memorizing formulas and definitions. Thus, it's all too easy for introductory statistics to reduce to a series of "Is this going to be on the exam?" type of questions, which is no fun for either the students or the teachers.

This book presents a number of activities which can be done in large lecture courses or small sections to enliven introductory statistics courses. The best of the activities engage the students directly by collecting data from them; since everyone finds themself fascinating, such activities are an automatic hook into students' interest and truly motivate the material. Once the data has been collected from the students, the students can be asked for their predictions about the data, and for different aspects of the data. The teacher can ask questions such as the following, and be almost guaranteed that the students care about the answers to them: if X is true, what do we expect a scatterplot to look like? What would the correlation be? What kind of analysis can we do to figure out whether X is true? Now, what if Y is also true?

As any practicing statistician knows, such exploratory questions cut to the heart of statistics, so these activities succeed in giving students a real understanding of what it means to be doing statistics. That said, I have found some of the activities are more fun than educational; one activity reenacts the famous Fisher tea tasting experiment using soft drinks, as a Pepsi-type challenge.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Price III on November 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've used eight or ten ideas from this book to good effect. Some of the material is basic, and some is well beyond the scope of the undergraduate social stats course I teach, so the book would likely be useful to a variety of stats courses. The book has a good index that let's you find tips or demonstrations relevant to the concept you are teaching.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BringData on November 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
The exceptional book really stands out in a field where very few books are written other than textbooks. It is a very rate book that is written for the benefit of the instructor. The author thoroughly explains his methodology in creating hands-on learning experiences for his statistics students. The examples themselves are quite good, and they are made even more helpful by the author's further comments on how it works, why it works, what has not worked, etc. It sounds strange, but I read this book like I read novels, I had a hard time putting it down. Books of this kind are so rare, and I was so thirsty for the knowledge that his experiences provided. I am teaching elementary stats at the community college level. It is hard to fit the entire curriculum into a semester to begin with, and taking the time to develop and include activities for interesting class experiences is easy to bypass. I took more notes from reading this book than I have from any other book. It is well-written, with no fluff, so each section has great nuggets from which other ideas naturally came to mind. I wish there were more books available of this kind -- it really sparked my creative juices.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mathcoach on September 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Activities are easy to incorporate into a high school statistics class. Materials are readily available, and my students have enjoyed the activities I have used so far.
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