Discipline-Based Education Research Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



Presented to UNL Discipline-Based Education Research Group, 2012.


Copyright 2012, Jennifer Green.


Introductory statistics instruction is evolving to help create a statistically literate society. However, sound statistical reasoning skills are not obtained in one general education statistics course, but instead need to be nurtured and developed over the course of one’s entire K‐16 educational experience (Franklin & Kader, 2010). It is therefore imperative that elementary teachers be adequately prepared to foster statistical thinking in their students. While introductory statistics courses typically serve the need to create statistically literate citizens, they do not necessarily provide the opportunity to develop pedagogical content knowledge that goes beyond a basic understanding of the content teachers will be teaching.

Erin Blankenship and I recently developed an introductory statistics course for pre‐service elementary teachers. The curriculum, focusing on modeling and simulation, coupled with additional activities, helps pre‐service teachers gain a deeper understanding of statistical concepts as well as transfer those ideas to their future elementary classrooms. This talk will describe the course and provide example course work that captures the progression from student to novice teacher. Overall, the course helps pre‐service teachers recognize the integral role they play in a student’s entire education, and we hope it can serve as a model/resource for others interested in pre‐service teacher development.