Mere Renovation is Too Little Too Late: We Need to Rethink Our Undergraduate Curriculum from the Ground Up (Cobb, 2015)
The last half-dozen years have seen The American Statistician publish well-argued and provocative calls to change our thinking about statistics and how we teach it, among them Brown and Kass (2009), Nolan and Temple-Lang (2010), and Legler et al. (2010). In 2014 the ASA issued a new and comprehensive set of guidelines for undergraduate programs (ASA 2014).
Accepting (and applauding) all this as background, Cobb's article argues the need to rethink our curriculum from the ground up, and offers five principles and two caveats intended to help us along the path toward a new synthesis. These principles and caveats rest on my sense of three parallel evolutions: the convergence of trends in the roles of mathematics, computation, and context within statistics education. These ongoing changes, together with the articles cited above and the seminal provocation by Leo Breiman (2001) call for a deep rethinking of what we teach to undergraduates. In particular, following Brown and Kass, we should put priority on two goals, to make fundamental concepts accessible and to minimize prerequisites to research.
- Cobb, 2015 preprint: Mere renovation is too little too late: we need to rethink our undergraduate curriculum from the ground up
- Response from Albert and Glickman: Attracting undergraduates to statistics through data science
- Response from Chance, Peck, and Rossman: Response to mere renovation is too little too late
- Response from De Veaux and Velleman: Teaching statistics algorithmically or stochastically misses the point: why not teach holistically?
- Response from Fisher and Bailar: Who, what, when and how: changing the undergraduate statistics curriculum
- Response from Franklin: We need to rethink the way we teach statistics at K-12
- Response from Gelman and Loken: Moving forward in statistics education while avoiding overconfidence
- Response from Gould: Augmenting the vocabulary used to describe data
- Response from Holcomb, Quinn, and Short: Seeking the niche for traditional mathematics within undergraduate statistics and data science curricula
- Response from Kass: The gap between statistics education and statistical practice
- Response from King: Training the next generation of statistical scientist
- Response from Lane-Getaz: Stirring the curricular pot once again
- Response from Notz: Vision or bad dream?
- Response from Ridgway: Data Cowboys and Statistical Indians
- Response from Temple Lang: Authentic data analysis experience
- Response from Utts: Challenges, changes and choices in the undergraduate statistics curriculum
- Response from Ward: Learning communities and the undergraduate statistics curriculum
- Response from Wickham: Teaching Safe-Stats, not statistical abstinence
- Response from Wild: Further, faster, wider
- Response from Zieffler: Teardowns, historical renovation, and paint-and-patch: curricular changes and faculty development
- Rejoinder by Cobb
- All discussion files (zip file)
- All discussion files (single pdf file)
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