Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Celebrating 10 Years of the Graduate Program in Statistics Education

So many friends came to Minnesota last month to help us celebrate the beginning of our second decade! They were from nearby, or from faraway; wise, or wet-behind the ears; and their academic affiliations showed the omnipresent variability of disciplines that inform our field -- curriculum and instruction, mathematics education, educational psychology, statistics, mathematics, and more. It was a lovely celebration, and we're quite grateful to the STEM Center at the University of Minnesota for helping us to toast the future of statistics education.

The night started with an unexpected haunting by our program's ghosts of statistics education past (Joan Garfield), present (Andy Zieffler), and future (Rebekah Isaak):

Bob delMas, who clearly has been having far too much fun on sabbatical in Australia, challenged the audience in this video to recognize as many catchy statistics education acronyms as possible... and to grapple with the thought-provoking cosmic mystery of pants:

Our supporters, friends, and colleagues who helped us get here chimed in with their reflections. Tamara Moore of the University of Minnesota STEM Center talked about her journey to understanding the relations between statistics and math education, and Michael Rodriguez discussed the healthy challenges that the program and its students bring to the university. Daniel Kaplan of Macalester College challenged us to think about the urgency of quantitative literacy for today's students. Dani Ben-Zvi of University of Haifa and Beth Chance of California Polytechnic State University shared reflections on their professional journeys in statistics education alongside Joan Garfield, while Rob Gould of UCLA dressed her up in a chef's outfit (with a little help from Photoshop). Dennis Pearl of wrapped up the speeches by discussing the importance of the work that's being done at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere to train the next generation of statistics education researchers.

To make the field sustainable, however, there needs to be more statistics education programs. That's why we also hosted a workshop on how to start more, so stay tuned to find out more about how that went.