Why real data is important in teaching
Proving that adding words to an algebra problem doesn’t automatically give it real-world context:
Thanks, Textbooks adds: This brings up several more important questions:
- Who has a “favorite” orange?
- How long have you had this orange that you’ve bonded with it so much?
- Who has an equation to calculate the weight of an orange?
- Is it your favorite because it happens to weigh nine pounds!?
[Other observations from Thanks, Textbooks include: I’m less concerned with the question, “What does the scale read?” and more concerned with the question, “Why the hell are we lubricating a hamster?”]
Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. See all posts by Thomas Lumley »