MA 251 Course Description



Prerequisite: MA 151 (Mathematics for Elementary Teachers II)

Offered: Fall beginning 2013

NOTE: May not be applied toward a non-teaching major or minor in mathematics.

General Introduction

The course concentrates on the role of statistics and probability in society and how this impacts elementary school curriculum.


The course is designed to provide a background in quantitative literacy for elementary mathematics majors and minors. The relationship between probability and statistics in organizing, quantifying, analyzing, and predicting in relation to natural phenomena will be developed.

The students will:

  1. build their intuition and understanding of probability and statistics from practical experiences using a variety of techniques
  2. learn to organize, analyze, and describe data
  3. practice drawing conclusions and inferences using statistical procedures
  4. gain experience using correlation and regression to form the basis of predictions
  5. learn to estimate population parameters using confidence intervals
  6. engage in writing reports about observations and experiments
  7. gain experience in using software, and calculators in analyzing data
  8. find additional resources on the web

Course Content

  1. Organizing and Analyzing Data
    1. Different types of graphs
    2. Using software and calculators
    3. Tables, charts, spreadsheets
    4. Measures of central tendency
    5. Measures of dispersion
    6. Distributions
  2. Predictions and Inferences
    1. Statistical tests
    2. Confidence intervals
    3. Regression and correlation
  3. Probability
    1. Random events
    2. Simulation
  4. Surveys
    1. Opinion polls
    2. Sampling errors

Extensions and Applications
1. Writing reports using software
2. Conducting and reporting on surveys
3. Finding resources on the web
4. Curricular considerations