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Activity Number: 306 - Innovative Approaches to Teaching Statistics from Content to Modality
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 30, 2019 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics and Data Science Education
Abstract #307310 Presentation
Title: Acknowledging Our Foundations: Promoting Discussion of Historical and Philosophical Challenges Underlying Statistical Inference
Author(s): Megan Higgs*
Companies: Montana State University
Keywords: Philosophy of Science; History of Statistics; foundations

Statisticians generally receive limited education on the historical and philosophical foundations of their discipline. Coursework, seminars, and conferences are typically method-oriented and fall squarely within the currently accepted use of statistical methods in practice. I have found many students of Statistics generally unaware of the relevant philosophical perspectives and challenges underlying our discipline, or its interesting history. This void makes it difficult to appreciate any larger context within which to consider and contemplate what we choose to teach and what we transfer to other scientists. I predict the consequences of such omissions will become greater as the data science revolution progresses and motivates the replacement of fundamental courses in Statistics with those more focused on computational and algorithmic methods. I present insights from teaching a course to Statistics undergraduates dedicated to philosophical and historical perspectives relative to current scientific practice, and also suggest strategies for incorporating discussions into currently offered methods-centric courses for science students in general.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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