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How Students Learn Statistics

Joan Garfield

The General College

University of Minnesota

To appear in the International Statistical Review


Research in the areas of psychology, statistical education, and mathematics education is reviewed and the results applied to the teaching of college-level statistics courses. The argument is made that statistics educators need to determine what it is they really want students to learn, to modify their teaching according to suggestions from the research literature, and to use assessment to determine if their teaching is effective and if students are developing statistical understanding and competence.

Keywords: statistical education, misconceptions, teaching and learning


This paper is based on the plenary presentation given at the American Statistical Association Winter Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, January 1992.

I would like to thank Andrew Ahlgren, David Moore, and two reviewers for their comments and suggestions regarding this paper.
Wed Jun 29 13:57:26 EDT 1994