Often by middle school and certainly by high school, students default to the mean as the best way to describe data without much consideration for how they might defend that choice. So, you might think, what’s the harm in that? Everyone knows what is meant by this descriptor, it is familiar and understandable, easy to calculate, and informative, right? In this workshop, we will use an activity to collect data and consider the options we have for describing data so we can tell the story of what we observed. This workshop will help you clarify the strengths and weaknesses of common descriptors of central tendency so you can, in turn, guide your students on their choice.
This 1.5-hour workshop is open to science and math teachers of all grade levels.