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  •  The Text I use (1+ / 0-)
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    (because it is essentially a methods class) is by Heiman; it's this one.

    It's a college text, but any upper-class highschool student should be able to get a lot out of it.  

    This is the only stats text that I've ever used that the students have spontaneously commented on -- in a positive way.  It's clear, and is a good introduction to doing scientific research.  He also writes a stats-only book, but I like this better.

    But!  I would go toward the calculus rather than the stats, unless you want to do some serious stats, like this one.  A good math foundation is (to my mind) a far far better thing than merely learning cookbook stats.  Heiman is not cookbook, but Howell is a nice combination of rigorous math (why the stats work the way they do) and stats.

    "I am awash in goddesses!"

    by Marc in KS on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:34:05 AM PST

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    •  Thanks for the feedback. (2+ / 0-)
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      Marc in KS, plf515

      I try not to do any "cookbook" math. It's very important to me that whatever math we study he understands what he's doing and why.  It's often a slow road to real understanding, but more and more the light bulb is going off for him.  

      My thought for doing stats was not to do it cookbook, but the hope that I could teach a course where he could see how applicable statistics is to understanding many things that come up in life that he could relate to.  

    •  I am not sure I agree (0+ / 0-)


      Well.....I certainly agree that a good math background is better than cookbook stats.

      But I think a good stats background, which, in my view, does NOT require calculus, is more important to more people than calculus.  I think statistics (NOT cookbook) is a very good way to teach quantitative thinking.  

      Also, it helps you spot the BS that is spewed at us by advertisers, politicians, and so on.

      What are you reading? on Friday mornings

      by plf515 on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 03:26:46 PM PST

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      •  Glad to have your thoughts here as well. (1+ / 0-)
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        I'd been wondering if we could do stats well without calculus and am glad to see you confirm this.  Your comment about "helps to spot the BS" is exactly the kind of thing I'd be trying to get at with the course I like to teach him.  Thanks for the ideas.  

      •  I consider the ability to think (1+ / 0-)
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        abstractly a very important thing for any sort of clear thought.

        Doing math -- pure math -- teaches that as well as anything.  And giving someone the chance to get into calculus in High School leaves open doors that will otherwise be closed.  I had a poor undergraduate math background and struggled like hell in grad school.

        So for a high schooler, I'd say go with the abstract math.  The stats can come in college, and will be far, far easier to get in a meaningful way than now.

        "I am awash in goddesses!"

        by Marc in KS on Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 06:31:53 AM PST

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        •  You could be right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marc in KS

          But I think that, for homeschoolers, it will be easier for the parents to teach statistics well than to teach calculus well.  It is very hard to teach calculus well, and I think it requires knowing a LOT more math than the parents here do (I think even teaching elementary calc. well requires AT LEAST being a math major undergrad, and possibly an advanced math degree, as well as a LOT of teaching ability.

          Statistics is easier to teach, I think.

          What are you reading? on Friday mornings

          by plf515 on Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 06:55:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good comment about how well can I teach calculus? (0+ / 0-)

            Up through Algebra 2 where we are now, everything has been fine.  I wasn't a math major, but have always loved math and appreciate it for its own rigor and beauty.  I was an economics major and a math minor and have a MS in Comp Sci so am not unused to thinking hard.  

            However, my feeling about calculus has always been that unless being taught to someone like me, who just loves math, it always made way harder than it needs to be and is way less valuable in the long run than people like to argue.  

            Also, my son, who does very well in math, doesn't love it like I do and doesn't see its beauty.  He would however, love a course that taught him to "spot the BS".  

            Anyway, thanks for all the food for thought.  One of the things I love about Kos is the brain power you can find here.

          •  That's a good point. (1+ / 0-)
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            And there are lots of people teaching calculus in universities who can wring every last little drop of interest out of it -- and they're the pros.

            So yeah, I concede.

            "I am awash in goddesses!"

            by Marc in KS on Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 08:47:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Interesting debate though (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Marc in KS

              Perhaps I should do a diary, something like:

              If you could study any topic in the world, with a great professor who was devoted to the topic, what would it be?

              or, perhaps

              Of the subjects offered in a large university, in which is a good instructor most vital?

              What are you reading? on Friday mornings

              by plf515 on Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 09:28:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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