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Fostering Statistical Thinking with Casio Technology.

Every day we are exposed to statistical arguments. Statistical arguments affect, or at least should affect, decisions related to politics, manufacturing, economics, science, and almost every area imaginable. Consequently, statistical literacy is essential for citizenship; without it, we will not understand the rationale (or lack thereof) for decisions that influence our lives. Furthermore, we will not be equipped with the knowledge and skills we need to make important data-driven decisions.

Before many of the technological advances of the last couple of decades, the study of statistics consisted primarily of tedious calculations. Often even those people with excellent arithmetic skills avoided the study of statistics because the focus was, necessarily, more on computation than on conceptual development and solving meaningful problems. However, now, with technology such as the Casio PRIZM, not only can we make the calculations far more efficiently and more precisely, but we have a wealth of statistical strategies at our fingertips. We can represent and describe data in multiple ways, construct models that were previously unavailable to us, and construct confidence intervals and hypothesis tests that were virtually impossible without technology. Quite simply, in the past we were limited to simplistic techniques and easy, often contrived examples. We are now free to focus on more realistic and interesting scenarios; with the aid of technology, we can now foster sound statistical thinking.

The intent of this book is to provide a powerful resource for teachers that will develop their students’ ability to depict, to interpret, and to analyze data. Problems address both descriptive and inferential statistics and come from a variety of disciplines and contexts. We believe you will find that if students tackle these explorations, they will, under the guidance of their teacher, develop the statistical literacy they need not only for success in a high school statistics course, but for becoming informed and contributing members of society.

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