I do not blame the young mind as they find it hard to comprehend that in life ‘the big does not always go with the big’, especially in statistical concept. I am marking level 1 (in NZ year 11) mock exam paper on Chance and Data. The student’s description of a situation with Lake Taupo Rainbow Trouts and the person is responding to a question on significant features of a comparative distribution of lengths of male and female trouts. Following is the response; I quote:
“The spread of the data for the female trout is a bit larger than the spread for male trout. This is probably because more female trout were caught. Female trout also have the smallest minimum of 405mm and the largest maximum of 625mm which also suggests that more female trout were caught.”
Okay, from the point of view of ‘what I see in the picture’, the person is right, as we see in the picture the upper middle ‘box’ (students prefer to call it) is wider than the bottom box (fig). But my concern is with the second part, the justifying line; student was not clear about the one thing in life i.e if we investigate a section or a group of items or people, more the better (if we are unbiased) as it will give us better or clearer picture of the group. In statistics it is called, ‘more representative’. Reminds me of the time I went to visit an optometrist who prescribed the right lens for my spectacles and I exclaimed, ‘wow, what a spectacular clear sight!’ I mean, the situation will not be that spectacular with a sample. Thus, with more numbers in the group the ‘middle box’ will shrink generally, unless we are ‘biased’. That’s another matter of interest in data analysis.
Anyway, I blamed me, as I could not make this anomaly of nature and life clearer to that student. Next time I will make it clearer that 'big variation' and 'big confidence' do not match most of the time.
"You can boost your memory through brain training, self-testing and area-restricted searching. Scientists have long attempted to discover ways of improving cognitive functions like memory. A great leap forward on this front was made in 1984 when the New Zealand academic James R. Flynn discovered that, from the beginning of the twentieth century, overall IQ scores had been rising by three points per decade. ......Today, most scientists agree that the "Flynn effect," as it has become known, suggests that the widespread adoption of new technologies, like radio and television and , later, the internet and smartphones, over the last century has made us evolve cognitively".
Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon by Rahul Jandial (MD, PhD, American neurosurgeon and scientist at City of Hope, Los Angeles).
'We tend to think that being able to plan into the future, be flexible in our approach and learn from others are things that are particularly impressive about humans. We've identified an area of the brain that appears to be uniquely human and is likely to have something to do with these cognitive powers,' says senior researcher Professor Matthew Rushworth of Oxford University's Department of Experimental Psychology.
Reference: Nathan Wallis and Futurism.com
Following slideshow may provide some idea about peoples' thoughts and expected changes forthcoming. It leads us to the big picture. I did not initiate follow through on the Big Opportunities discussed in the NZCER paper. Perhaps on my next blog I will put up a slideshow on big opportunities of the review. The reason I delved through this is to find out some material/claim, so that I might be able to use it to teach margin of error and confidence level to my senior students for forthcoming Evaluation of Statistical Report.
The materials were borrowed from NZCER paper on NCEA Review.
This idea of electronic device use/misuse in the classroom and its implication on classroom teaching in learning is bugging me since last week. Especially, when some of the educators tend to say that device usage in class is the greatest distractor and causes serious concern with students’ literacy prowess.
Thus, I looked at one of the Peer-Reviewed research paper ‘Students distracted by electronic devices perform at the same level as those who are focused on the lecture’ by Romesh P. Nalliah and Veerasathpurush Allareddy (Peer J, 2014;2:e572).
The sample was comprised of 26 students. Of these, 17 were distracted in some form (either checking email, sending email, checking Facebook, or sending texts). Their finding can be summarised as such: “ There were no significant differences in test scores between distracted and non-distracted students”. For the statistically literate people the authors write, “Gender and types of distractions were not significantly associated with test scores (p>0.05).
Conclusion was: ‘Every class member felt that they acquired the important learning points during the lecture’.
My interpretation is, in Secondary Schools (which is equivalent to Middle School and High School in other parts of the world), the situation is different. There are so many confounding variables e.g influence of family and literacy, a major shift of discipline structure in schools. Interpretation/misinterpretation of so to say, ‘Restorative Discipline System’ has major effect on the literacy and numeracy, however indirect it might be. Back in my days of schooling, I picked up basic concept of literacy and numeracy in my family (whanau), then I went to the primary school, somewhat informed about learning that is required to ‘walk the enduring path of education’.
I have attached the statistical table for those who love to churn numbers. These are just numbers and can be ignored.
What made them so violent? Video games? Video games did not exist at that time. Battle of Salamis (akg-images.co.uk).
Over-assessment is a time waster. Consequence of over-assessment ends up having less time for valuable teaching and increases learner and teacher workload. Assessment should be inclusive of diverse learners. Currently it is experienced that some of the departments in a school is fully absorbed mainly with assessment design and implementation i.e test design, testing itself, marking and finally moderation.
Five identified principles that define a strong qualification is illustrated by the following diagram:
The Ministry of Education , New Zealand's NCEA Review Discussion Documents include the timeline which is captured in the following clip.
Started reading the 'Korero Matauranga', perhaps my earnest endeavour to join the conversation. I planned to read the documents while I will be mind-mapping the points gathered from reading. Since I am a visual learner (I believe), it might help me retain the stuff from the discussion document. Here I attach my first mind-map!
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