Beeby Award to fund resource for teaching statistical investigations

The 2018 Beeby Award has been awarded to mathematics and statistics educator Dr Pip Arnold. Dr Arnold’s winning proposal is for a resource to support statistics teaching and learning in the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

The $30,000 Beeby Award is jointly funded by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO (the Commission) and the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER). The selection criteria are aligned with the funders’ priorities.

“Dr Arnold’s proposal connects statistical literacy to the skills needed to navigate our data rich world, and will be relevant for teachers and kaiako in both English-medium and Māori-medium schools,” NZCER Director Graeme Cosslett says.

“The proposal shows statistical thinking is necessary for proper participation in a democratic society that recognises and values diversity,” Chair of the Commission Robyn Baker says.

The resource will collate research and best practice from Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally about teaching the statistical concepts that are the building blocks of statistical thinking and reasoning up to Year 11 (curriculum level 6). The funding will support extensive testing in schools.

Dr Arnold has a Doctor of Philosophy in statistics education from the University of Auckland. She has been a secondary teacher, a head of faculty, a secondary mathematics facilitator and a primary mathematics project director. Dr Arnold has been involved in both curriculum and assessment review and development.

The Beeby Award, previously known as the Beeby Fellowship, was established in 1998 by NZCER and the Commission. The Beeby Award supports projects that develop innovative resources from educational research. It is named after Dr Clarence Beeby who, in 1934, became the first Director of NZCER, and was Assistant Director-General of UNESCO from 1948-49.