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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Teaching and Testing for Statistical Thinking


I want to start this presentation with the case study of a "social studies" teacher who was very bored with his teaching job. He was not challenged any more and he thought that his students were incapable of analyzing and evaluating the important and critical episodes in world history. He thought that one solution to this dilemma would be to write exam questions that required his students to engage in critical and upper level thinking. He spent quite a long time writing such an exam and was happy about his accomplishment. However, after he administered the exam, more than 90% of the students could not answer the questions he had designed. After some deliberation he came to the conclusion that he was not teaching for thinking. In other words: "He was testing for something that he did not teach.".

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