My name is Rebecca Wong and together with my colleagues and co-hosts, Mark Earley and Kelly Spoon, I welcome you to four weeks of discussions focused on the IMPACT theme of Ownership: Taking Responsibility and Showing Initiative in Statistics education.
If you do a search for “best careers” or “best jobs” you are almost certain to find data scientist and/or statistician on the list. As instructors for many students’ first introduction to the study of statistics, we have a responsibility and opportunity to ignite students’ interest in the field as a potential career pathway. Even if they don’t choose to pursue further study in statistics, all our students need to be good consumers of statistics as they inhabit a world swimming in data, information, and misinformation.
Yet despite this wonderful responsibility and opportunity, most of us have very limited formal coursework in statistics ourselves. I remember so clearly my first full-time teaching assignment at a community college. The chair said, “You can teach statistics, right?” handed me a textbook and course outline, and off I went. I soon realized that the course I was teaching bore little resemblance to the one PStat course I had taken as an undergraduate. I was like a fish out of water, with a lot of additional learning to do.
Because of this lack of content expertise, I have spent a lot of time over the years learning from experts in statistics education so that I can teach the most modern, IMPACT-ful introductory course that I can. Now the Introductory Statistics course is one of my favorite courses to teach. It is so easy to motivate students to take ownership of their learning because they can clearly see how the course content is useful in their daily lives and how understanding statistics is vital to an educated world citizen.
This month we have the opportunity to discuss how we Take Responsibility for teaching the most up-to-date statistics course possible and how we Show Initiative for continued learning in the field. Log in to IMPACT Live! this month to share your experiences and resources and to learn from colleagues. Together let’s continue learning to take Ownership in Statistics education.
Rebecca Wong, Mark Earley, Kelly Spoon
ST, PD, EQ