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Statistical Trick or Treat

Teaching statistics can be fun...and/or frustrating. How can students interact with real data? How can you make the course seem like more than an endless, boring train of formulas? How to make the course intersect with the use (or misuse) of statisitics in the real world?

Andrew Gelman and Deborah Nolan's Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks is one response to these questions. The book offers a "positive spin" on statistics via examples, demonstrations and projects aimed at motivating both class participation and positive attitudes.

Part I provides a global overview of an introductory statistics course, complete with a plethora of activities. The Sections are (1) Descriptive statistics, (2) Linear regression/correlation, (3) Data collection, (4) Statistical literacy, (5) Probability, (6) Statistical inference, (7) Multiple regression & nonlinear models, and (8) Lying with statistics.

Using this overview, Part II then focuses on the teaching of an introductory statistics course. Here you will find a course plan, teaching tips, advice on the use of effective demonstrations and examples, group projects, motivating students, and assessment.

And finally, Part III provides demonstrations and projects for more advanced topics such as decision theory, Bayesian statistics, sampling, Markov chains, mathematical statistics, etc. An interesting way to learn more statistics yourself.

Lots of good ideas...examples,, projects, demonstrations, pedagogical advice... throughout! The authors did a great job....now, if only similar books existed for algebra, geometry, trigonometry...maybe they do, just let me know.