The Discipline of Statistics Education: Resources

Professional Organizations that Support Statistics Education

Arising from a strategic initiative of the American Statistical Association, CAUSE is a national organization whose mission is to support and advance undergraduate                                                          Statistics education in four target areas: resources, professional development, outreach, and research.

This is an active group of statisticians and statistics educators who are involved in and dedicated to the teaching of statistics. They organize sessions on statistics education at the annual Joint Statistics Meetings (see below) and produce a newsletter on current activities and news related to teaching and learning statistics. They oversee nominations and awards for excellence in teaching statistics.

IASE (a section of The International Statistical Institute) is the international umbrella organization for statistics education. IASE seeks to promote, support, and improve statistical education at all levels everywhere around the world. It fosters international cooperation and stimulates discussion and research. It disseminates ideas, strategies, research findings, materials and information using publications, international conferences (such as ICOTS, the International Conference On Teaching Statistics, every four years), and has a rich Website.

This is a special interest group for mathematicians who teach statistics. The purpose of this group is to facilitate the exchange of ideas through meetings, sessions, publications, and electronic media about teaching statistics and the undergraduate curricula; to foster increased understanding of statistics among members of the Mathematics Association of America (MAA) and among broader constituencies; to promote the discipline of statistics among students; and to work cooperatively with other organizations to encourage effective teaching and learning of statistics.

Data and Chance are among the five main content areas in the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics document (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2000). The NCTM has published many books about teaching statistics at the school level (some of them are mentioned below). 

Books on Teaching Statistics

This book collects, presents, and synthesizes cutting edge research on different aspects of statistical reasoning, and applies this research to the teaching of statistics to students at all educational levels. It presents the research foundation on which teaching should be based. The chapters in this volume are written by leading researchers in statistics education.

The sixty-eighth NCTM yearbook (2006) focuses on students' and teachers' learning and reasoning about data and chance. Topics include the relation between mathematics and statistics, the development and enrichment of mathematical concepts through the use of statistics, and a discussion of the research related to teaching and learning statistics. The accompanying CD offers support material for many of the articles, including lessons, software demonstrations, and video clips of classrooms.

A book of stories about teaching statistics. These stories are told by fourteen different instructors of innovative statistics courses, who demonstrate that learning statistics can be a positive, meaningful, and even exciting experience. In the classes of the instructors whose stories fill this book, students are engaged in learning, are empowered to do statistics, and appreciate the instructional methods of their teachers. Each chapter begins by describing how the author became a teacher of statistics, then provides details about the courses they currently teach, describing their teaching methods, textbook, types of student assessments, and uses of technology. One typical class is described in detail, to provide a snapshot of what each person's teaching looks like. The writers then tell the story of the process they went through in developing an innovative course, and conclude their chapters with a discussion of their future plans for course revision or development.

This book provides a wealth of demonstrations, examples, and projects that involve active student participation. Part I of the book presents a large selection of activities for introductory statistics and Part II gives tips on what does and what does not work in class. Part III presents material for more advanced courses on topics such as decision theory, Bayesian statistics, and sampling.

This book suggests innovative ways of bringing an introductory statistics course to life. The articles focus on current developments in the field, and how to make the subject attractive and relevant to students. All articles provide suggestions, ideas, and a list of resources to faculty teaching a wide variety of introductory statistics courses. Some of the ideas presented include exploratory data analysis, computer simulations of probabilistic and statistical principles, "real world" experiments with probability models, and individual statistical research projects to reinforce statistical methods and concepts.

This book is a collection of articles on various aspects of statistics education along with a collection of descriptions of several effective and innovative projects. The book opens with a classic article produced by the MAA Focus Group on Statistics Education during the infancy of the statistics education reform movement. Following sections include motivation for and advice on how to use real data in teaching, how to choose a textbook at the introductory or mathematical statistics level, how to make effective use of technology, and how to more effectively assess students by going beyond the reliance on in-class examinations.

This book deals with the teaching of some of the more difficult conceptual conundrums in teaching introductory statistics.

   1. The Best of Teaching Statistics – published in 1986 and available online:

2. Teaching Statistics at its Best – 50 of the best articles from Volumes 6–14 (Edited by D. Green, 1994). Some of the articles are available online:

3. Getting the Best from Teaching Statistics – The latest anthology with articles from Volumes 15–21. Available online:

Grade-band books with activities and materials to implement ideas from the NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000). There are four books – Navigating through Data Analysis and Probability (prekindergarten–grade 2, grades 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12), and two books – Navigating through Probability (grades 6–8, and 9–12). 

Learning Statistics - textbooks

For over 20 years and with more than 200 million copies printed, For Dummies is the world’s bestselling reference series, well known for enriching people’s lives by making knowledge accessible in a fun and easy way. Loyal customers around the globe agree that For Dummies is “more than a publishing phenomenon…[it is] a sign of the times,” [The New York Times]. The books span every section of the bookstore, covering topics from health to history, music to math, sports to self-help, technology to travel, and more. The For Dummies brand presence is further expanded with the addition of eBooks, a corporate custom publishing program, a robust consumer website, and a licensed product line that includes consumer electronics, culinary, crafts, video, software, musical instrument packs, home improvement, automotive, game, and more. For more information, visit For Dummies is a branded imprint of Wiley.


Journals and Newsletters 

SERJ is a peer-reviewed electronic journal of the International Association for Statistical Education (IASE) and the International Statistical Institute (ISI). SERJ is published electronically twice a year and is free. SERJ aims to advance research-based knowledge that can help to improve the teaching, learning, and understanding of statistics or probability at all educational levels and in both formal (classroom-based) and informal (out-of-classroom) contexts. Such research may examine, for example, cognitive, motivational, attitudinal, curricular, teaching-related, technology-related, organizational, or societal factors and processes that are related to the development and understanding of statistical knowledge. In addition, research may focus on how people use or apply statistical and probabilistic information and ideas, broadly viewed. 

The JSE disseminates knowledge for the improvement of statistics education at all levels, including elementary, secondary, post-secondary, post-graduate, continuing and workplace education. It is distributed electronically and, in accord with its broad focus, publishes articles that enhance the exchange of a diversity of interesting and useful information among educators, practitioners, and researchers around the world. The intended audience includes anyone who teaches statistics, as well as those interested in research on statistical and probabilistic reasoning. All submissions are rigorously refereed using a double-blind peer review process. 

Teaching Statistics seeks to help those teaching any type of statistics to pupils aged 9–19 by showing how statistical ideas can illuminate their work and how to make proper use of statistics in their teaching. It is also directed toward those who teach statistics as a separate subject and to those who teach statistics in conjunction with mathematics courses. In the United States, teachers will find it useful in teaching the data-handling aspects of the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM, 2000). 

Stats is a lively magazine, directed toward student members of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and the ASA school membership. Stats features career information, student experiences, current problems, case studies, first person stories from leaders in the field, and humor. 

The Statistics Teacher Network (STN) is a newsletter published three times a year by the American Statistical Association and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Joint Committee on Curriculum in Statistics and Probability for Grades K-12. STN is a free publication whose purpose is to keep grades K-12 teachers informed of statistical workshops, programs, and reviews of books, software, and calculators. In addition, articles are included describing statistical activities that have been successful in the classroom. 

The newsletter provides section members with: (1) short descriptions and references to resources where they can learn about new ideas in how to teach or how people learn statistics; (2) news items about current happenings in the teaching of statistics that are of interest to teachers of statistics but are not directly applicable to classroom practice; and (3) actual descriptions of teaching ideas.

The International Statistical Review provides a comprehensive review of work in statistics, over the whole spectrum of the statistical profession, including the most relevant aspects of probability. It publishes original research papers of wide interest; integrated critical surveys of particular fields of statistics and probability; and reports on recent developments in statistics, computer facilities, survey programs, teaching methods and experience. 

Articles on the Introductory Statistics Course

These are important articles on undergraduate statistics education that often provide historical insights into developments and issues regarding the introductory statistics course


The ICOTS conferences, held by IASE, are the most important events on the international statistics education calendar. ICOTS-7, Brazil, 2006, see; ICOTS-8, Slovenia, 2010, see 

The SRTL series of biennial research forums brings together researchers working in the fields of statistical reasoning, thinking, and literacy. 

SRTL5 on “reasoning about statistical inference – innovative ways of connecting chance and data”, The University of Warwick, United Kingdom, 2007, see                    

SRTL6 on “the role of context and evidence in informal inferential reasoning”, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, 2009, see 

These are small workshop conferences that bring together a select international group of experts to address a particular theme and to make recommendations from which institutions and individuals engaged in statistical education and training (in developed and developing countries) may benefit. The 2004 Roundtable addressed Curricular Development in Statistics Education. The 2008 will address Statistics Education in School Mathematics: Challenges for Teaching and Teacher Education. IASE Roundtables are held near the site of ICME conferences (listed below). 

These are themed conferences held in close proximity to the ISI congresses. The 2005 conference focused on Statistics Education and the Communication of Statistics, and the 2007 conference on Assessing Student Learning in Statistics. 

JSM is the largest gathering of statisticians held in North America. The Section on Statistical Education of the American Statistical Association organizes a wide variety of invited and contributed paper sessions as well as roundtable discussions and posters. 

USCOTS is a U.S. conference that focuses on undergraduate level statistics education (including Advanced Placement Statistics), targeting statistics teachers. It aims at sharing ideas, methods, and research results regarding what teachers want to know about teaching statistics; facilitating incorporating new ideas, methods, and resources into existing courses and programs; and promoting connections between all teachers of undergraduate level statistics throughout the United States

The biannual scientific conference of the International Statistical Institute (ISI) has been held since 1853, recent sessions attracting in excess of 2,000 delegates. Participants include academics, government and private sector statisticians and related experts from various institutes. ISI Sessions provide an opportunity for statisticians to attend scientific meetings focusing on their own specialty and at the same time absorb new research in other statistical fields that may have unanticipated applications to one’s own specialty. 

The Joint Mathematics Meetings are held for the purpose of advancing mathematical achievement, encouraging research, and providing the communication necessary to progress in the field. The SIGMAA for Statistics Education (listed above) organizes several sessions on teaching statistics and has its annual business meeting at this conference. 

A major event in the life of the international mathematics education community is formed by the quadrennial International Congress on Mathematical Education, ICME, held under the auspices of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI, This major scientific gathering includes several sessions on statistics education. 


Arising from a strategic initiative of the American Statistical Association, CAUSE is a national organization whose mission is to support and advance undergraduate statistics education, in four target areas: resources, professional development, outreach, and research.

The mission of the International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP) is to provide those interested in statistical literacy with information and resources, and to aid them in the development of statistical literacy around the world. It replaces the World Numeracy Project of the International Statistical Institute (ISI). 

The IASE Website disseminates ideas, strategies, research findings, publications, materials, and information related to statistics education.

This project is about adapting and implementing innovative materials for introductory statistics courses. These materials include textbooks, software, Web resources, and special simulation tools, lesson plans, and student activity guides. The suggested lessons are designed to involve students in small and large group discussion, computer explorations, and hands-on activities.