SEMINAR: National and local initiatives in Statistics Education (Dr Peter Howley)

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Speaker: Dr Peter Howley (University of Newcastle, Australia)

Title: National and local initiatives in Statistics Education

Australian teachers are saying “a rewarding experience”, “a great competition”, “21st Century learning at its best”, “a resounding success…motivates and engages students”. Mentors are saying “I was inspired by their keenness”, “provides students a unique opportunity”. What are they talking about? The successful annual National Statistics Poster Competition!

The presentation will outline this national project-based learning activity, describing its aims, methods and outcomes. It will describe how the activity facilitates boundary encounters (between primary, secondary, tertiary education, and industry sectors), and engages students with varied (and not necessarily mathematical) backgrounds and areas of interest, and how it develops key communication, research and quantitative skills aligned with NSW BOSTES and Australian curriculum outcomes.

The talk will also describe other current mathematics and statistics education initiatives underway as part of national and local projects which aim to inspire students and teachers and assist them to overcome barriers associated with learning statistics and ‘statistical anxiety’; with a key focus on low SES, remotely-located and culturally diverse students and schools.

Biography of Dr Peter Howley:

Dr Peter Howley is Chair of the Statistical Society of Australia’s Statistical Education Section and Senior Lecturer, Statistics, The University of Newcastle, Australia.

Peter received a 2015 Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning and undertakes interdisciplinary STEM-related research. Peter piloted and now annually coordinates a successful National Schools Poster Competition for primary and secondary schools. He is also part of an inter-institutional OLT grant to improve recruitment, training, and retention of mathematics teachers, ‘Inspiring Mathematics and Science In Teacher Education’ (IMSITE), and leads a HEPPP-funded National Statistics Initiative to assist low SES, remotely-located and culturally diverse students overcome barriers associated with learning statistics and ‘statistical anxiety’.

Peter undertakes collaborative research with the Health Services Research Group (Australia), Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) and Australian Council on Healthcare Standards on Bayesian hierarchical models and methods for improving clinical indicator reporting systems and monitoring and improving health care systems and performance. He also conducts collaborative research with Schools of Education and is a member of the Priority Research Centre CARMA (Computer-Assisted Research Mathematics and its Applications).

See also and follow on twitter @peterhowley0.


NOTE: Please note that there will be a two-day colloquium: “STEMS: PUTTING STATISTICS INTO STEM IN THE AGE OF DATA“, on 2-3 June at UTS to provide some perspectives on the needs and actions surrounding the future of Statistics. Please consider the program at, which includes speakers and representatives from: Harvard University, Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Qantas. The colloquium is FREE for primary/secondary school teachers but must still register.

**Refreshments from 6pm, talk 6:30-7:30pm.**


SEMINAR: National and local initiatives in Statistics Education (Dr Peter Howley)
When: 01/06/2016
Time: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Cost: Free
Location: Room 010B G, Level 3, Building 7, University of Technology, Sydney,
638 Jones Street,
NSW 2007

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