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Busting Myths


Chick, HL, Busting Myths, Australian Mathematics Teacher, 69, (4) pp. 16-22. ISSN 0045-0685 (2014) [Professional, Non Refereed Article]

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A recent episode of MythBusters (Williams, 2013) involved a series of "battles of the sexes" to examine myths and urban legends about things that men are supposedly better (or worse) at doing than women. Some of the processes that were used on the show to investigate these myths, along with the data they generated, can be used to examine some interesting statistical ideas, varying from a quite simple examination of distributions to an elementary exploration of beginning hypothesis testing. As such they would be suitable for secondary classrooms, where the content aligns well with Australian Cuniculum: Mathematics. In this article I will describe two of the segments and discuss some of the issues that could be addressed in a classroom. Ideally it would be good to be able to view the segments as part of any lesson (at the time of writing it was possible to purchase the episode via an online media supplier; see note at end of article), but it is hoped that there is enough information in what follows for teachers to be able to provide an explanation of the segments and the data sets should still be sufficient to stimulate good classroom discussion.

Item Details

Item Type:Professional, Non Refereed Article
Keywords:statistics education, average, distribution, inference
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Mathematics and numeracy curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Teacher and instructor development
UTAS Author:Chick, HL (Associate Professor Helen Chick)
ID Code:93068
Year Published:2014 (online first 2013)
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2014-07-09
Last Modified:2014-07-21

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