The subject content for Mathematics includes the use of data in Statistics and specifies that “Specifications should require students to explore the data set(s), and associated contexts, during their course of study to enable them to perform tasks that assume familiarity with the contexts, the main features of the data and the ways in which technology can help explore the data. Specifications should also require students to demonstrate the ability to analyse a subset or features of the data using a calculator with standard statistical functions.”
Calculators used must include the following features: an iterative function and the ability to compute summary statistics and access probabilities from standard statistical distributions.
From the examination Boards:
- AQA: The large data set Family Food,2014 is found with their Assessment resources.
- Pearson Edexcel: Weather data samples provided by the Met Office are included with Teaching and Learning Materials.
- From OCR comes a very helpful document, Teaching Statistics Using Large Data Sets which includes information and teaching suggestions. Information is provided on both OCR specification A and OCR (MEI) Specification B. The Data set for Specifcation A is under Assessment Materials on this page. Four sets of data: two each from the censuses of 2001 and 2011; two on method of travel to work and two showing the age structure of the population make up the large data set.
- MEI’s approach is different in that three data sets will be provided for teaching, these will be used in a three yearly cycle. For first teaching beginning in September 2107 we have Large Data set 1 on which consists of data about countries from the CIA World Factbook and will be used for H630/02 and H640/02 in June 2018 and H640/02 (A level only) in June 2019. The MEI data sets are all available on GeoGebra.
MEI have a useful resource page on Data Sets with data sets provided for teachers of statistics to use with their students.
Edexcel’s Teaching and Learning Materials offer excellent Statistics support.
From Hodder Education, scroll down this page for a data set on Cycling accidents. This data set has 93 records on cycling accidents including for example distance from home and wearing a helmet y/n. The data is discussed in Hodder’s book for MEI A Level Maths but clearly it is also a very useful resource in its own right. We can introduce larger data sets for younger students too and a set such as this would work well.
See this post on Regression which includes the use of GeoGebra for data analysis.
From Cambridge Mathematics, this post looks at using Excel to explore the variability of samples.
Eduqas will not be offering AS / A Level Mathematics specifications, but note their Level 3 Statistical Problem Solving Using Software. See also the International Centre for Statistical Education (ICSE) with Plymouth University and you can follow @IntCSE on Twitter. It may be that some of the resources here will be useful for our teaching of Statistics.
Educas state: “The objective of this qualification is to assist the understanding of the problem-solving cycle of planning, collecting, processing and discussing in meaningful contexts and to use statistical software to process real data sets. It has been specifically designed to be taught in schools and colleges to equip learners aged 16-19 with a broad range of skills empowering them to successfully negotiate statistical problems in Higher Education or the world of work.”
Further resources including resources for Statistics are included in the series of Resources pages.