Statistics in the Biology Classroom

Saturday at KU Edwards Campus I attended the “Statistics in the Biology Classroom” workshop, the 2nd part of April’s PD opportunities provided the KU Center for STEM Learning (under who the UKanTeach program can be found). You can find my notes, ideas, and instructions for incorporating statistics in the biology classroom using Excel spreadsheets here.

Like last time I won’t rehash everything from my notes and I think continuing a discussion of statistics in biology here on KABT as well as within the document would serve a greater purpose. Brad started the class telling a now classic story of a British woman claiming to tell whether milk was added before or after her tea and then the conversation led to how we could model this using spreadsheets. The conversation weaved its way around the AP curriculum (including which labs different stats can be used in), the sometimes over-reliance on Chi-Square as a statistical test, and how to build students conceptual understanding of stats, distributions, and p-values, without really having to “learn” complicated formulas.

So with that, what does everyone else think? How should statistics be used on biology? How does it look different vertically between grade levels? When and how should students first begin working with modeling statistics?



One thought on “Statistics in the Biology Classroom”

  1. This was a great session, and I hope to build this skill early in my AP class next year. There is a quantitative option in most key labs in the AP curriculum, so I’m hoping this will lead to better analysis (especially early with less experienced students).

    I put together an initial exposure screencast for discussing confidence intervals using these modeling techniques. It’s accessible for any high school setting, so check it out!

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