Level 3, Statistics & Modelling Workshop

February 2006

Dunedin, Wellington, Palmerston North

My name is Matt Regan and I will be presenting the material in these workshops. Most of this material has been prepared by myself, Rachel Cunliffe, and Ross Parsonage (Senior Tutors, Dept of Statistics, The University of Auckland).

We have been preparing and presenting Year 13/Form 7 statistics workshops in Auckland since our involvement with the Bursary & Scholarship examinations, 1997-99. Over the years we have become more aware of the need to produce ready-to-use classroom resources in a format which allows for further teacher adaptation or tailoring, if so desired. We have also identified a need to address some content issues, in particular, in the area of regression and correlation analyses.

In 2004, our end-of-year workshop in Auckland attracted 125 registrations. Just on 100 teachers registered for last year's 2005 workshop even although it was clearly advertised as re-presentation of the best of our 2003/2004 material.

Here is a sample of some unsolicited positive email feedback we received after last year's 2005 workshop:

  • Reported back to my staff today that your stats course was one of the very best I've been to in 35 years – absolutely focused on what a teacher in front of a classroom needs to focus on.
    — Ken Smyth, Bay of Islands College, Northland.
  • My colleague and I want to express our appreciation for the excellent Regression and Correlation day at the Tamaki Campus on 18th of November. It is rare that a day course is so well organised with valuable handouts and web resources.
    — Gary Judkins, St Paul's Collegiate, Hamilton.
  • Thanks for the day last Friday. Excellent material and presentations. Helpful to those of us in the classroom, where you at times need someone to either give you a definitive answer on something (R-squared being a case in point), or some helpful data/ideas etc.
    — Lewis Hockings, Tauranga Girls' College, Tauranga.

I taught maths at a number of NZ secondary schools from 1974 through to 1991 before joining the Department of Statistics, The University of Auckland, in 1992. I was the chief examiner of the Bursary and Scholarship examinations 1997-99. I currently lecture large Stage I introductory statistics classes and co-lead its teaching team which comprises about 7-10 senior tutors and lecturers.

In 2003 this teaching team won our university's first national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award. The award was presented by Helen Clark in a ceremony in Parliament Buildings. This followed winning two of The University of Auckland's five Teaching Excellence Awards in the first year they were offered (1 of the 4 awarded for "Sustained Excellence", and the sole award for "Collaboration").

About 3700 students enrol each year in one of our introductory statistics courses. The majority of these students are in their first year of university study and have come directly from a Year 13 programme. If we aim to meet the needs of these students, then it is important for us establish and maintain strong working links with secondary teachers, so that we have a good level of awareness of what-and-how they have been taught immediately before coming to us.

Our department's senior management team, led by current HoD Prof Chris Wild, strongly support and encourage our work with secondary school maths teachers on statistics related curriculum issues. They reason that this collaboration is an essential element in promoting the teaching and learning of statistics at secondary and consequently tertiary level, and in the fostering of statistical literacy nationally. Some examples of this work are:

I am very much looking forward to meeting and working with teachers from outside the Auckland region in these February workshops.

Matt Regan

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