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Neville Davies The Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education Nottingham Trent University, UK. Gerald Goodall The Royal Statistical Society 12, Errol Street, London, UK. The Journal Teaching Statistics. Centre for Statistical Education. With help from Peter Holmes,

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the journal teaching statistics
Neville Davies

The Royal Statistical Society

Centre for Statistical Education

Nottingham Trent University, UK

Gerald Goodall

The Royal Statistical Society

12, Errol Street, London, UK

The JournalTeaching Statistics

Centre for

Statistical Education

With help from Peter Holmes,

David Green and Neville Hunt

  • History
  • The Editors & experiences
  • Articles submitted 1988 - 2004
  • Publishers & Journal Development
  • The Future
in the beginning

In the Beginning …

Sheffield, England1977Vic BarnettJoe GaniPeter Holmes

teaching statistics trust

Teaching Statistics Trust

Set up to publish Teaching Statistics

but with broader aims to improve statistical education for all ages

sponsored by …Applied Probability TrustRoyal Statistical SocietyInstitute of StatisticiansInternational Statistical Institute

teaching statistics
Teaching Statistics
  • Three issues per year
  • For teachers of students aged 9-19
  • Both specialist and user-disciplines
  • Emphasis on teaching and the classroom
  • Inform, entertain, encourage and enlighten
  • Light and readable
  • International perspective
getting it going
Getting it going
  • Run on a shoestring
  • 1st issue was distributed freely
    • this used up much of the borrowed capital
  • Designed for an international audience
    • Even in 1st issue there were many international authors
the four editorial eras
The four editorial eras …
  • 1978 - 1987 Peter Holmes
  • 1987 - 1993 David Green
  • 1993 - 1997 Neville Hunt
  • 1997 - Gerald Goodall
1978 1987 peter holmes
1978-1987 Peter Holmes
  • Setting the standard
  • Establishing readership
  • Panel of referees

Venture of faith

early days
Early days ...


  • first received - David Hill 20/3/78
  • timeless - The Pie Chart: a Piece of Cake
  • prolific author - A.F.Bissell

some commissioned initially

early days1

“Many new developments are based on hunch rather than research. There is not as well developed a theory and body of literature on statistical education as there is in mathematical education. Courses for teachers concentrate on the content rather than the process.” PH (1979)

Early days …
early days2

“I am sure Mrs Dolan’s pupils enjoy statistics …

Nevertheless … it is most important that all technical terms should be used correctly.

Unfortunately this account of some of the work done by her pupils involves a number of serious errors.”

Early days ...
peter holmes high and low points
Peter Holmes’ high and low points
  • Major high
    • putting together the first issue & getting it published
  • Low - unable to persuade teachers of need:

(i) to write up their experiences with lower age pupils;

(ii) to write up their different insights into teaching statistics in subjects outside mathematics

1987 1993 david green
IASE pullout feature

In-house publication

Computing Corner

Curriculum Matters

Data Bank

Historical Perspective

Practical Activities

Problem Page

Project Parade

Research Report

1987-1993 David Green
  • Longmans venture
  • Complete re-design
  • Special Sections
Longman’s innovation – 32, A4-sized pages and an insert from what became the International Association for Statistical Education (IASE), it contained many more photographs and illustrations
david green s high points
David Green’s high points
  • As Editor of Teaching Statistics at its Best 1994
    • He chose the 48 best articles from TS for vols 6-14.
  • Communicating with colleagues from all round the world and meeting many of them at ICOTS3 in Dunedin in 1990
david green s low points
David Green’s low points
  • Following-up commissioned articles
    • Very often they turned out to be of a poor standard for publishing a lot of extra work was required as editor, since rejection was hardly an option!
  • The dearth of feedback from readers
    • When solicited it was very positive but it came very rarely spontaneously, which makes judging the impact (of the journal) on teachers and students hard
1993 1997 neville hunt
1993-1997 Neville Hunt

Separation of roles

  • Golden Jubilee Issue
  • New special sections

Standard Errors

Net Benefits

Competition Page

neville hunt s experiences
Neville Hunt’s Experiences
  • Articles
    • Too many at too high a level, almost never too low!
    • Did not get one article that involved the teacher using a data set in an illuminating way
  • Readers – Corpse-like passivity!
    • Major competitions that only attracted about 4 entries
    • Special offer of a disk of data - nil response
    • We asked for people to tell us what they thought of the journal - nil response
    • The lack of feedback was somewhat unnerving!
  • Referees
    • Variation in promptness of reply
    • Often saw value in a paper that at first sight deserved rejection: indicates the broad church of Teaching Statistics
1997 gerald goodall
1997- Gerald Goodall
  • Spreadsheets
  • World Wide Web


gerald goodall s highlights
Gerald Goodall’s Highlights
  • Development of the contract with Blackwell Publishing
    • excellent working relationship
  • Very little feedback about the journal
    • But what there is usually very positive
publications three compilations of articles
Publications – Three Compilations of Articles
  • The Best of Teaching Statistics has the best articles from volumes 1 – 5, 1979 - 1983
    • now out of print, but articles are available online at
  • Teaching Statistics at its Best has articles from volumes 6 to 14, 1984 - 1992
  • Getting the Best from Teaching Statistics has articles from volumes 15 – 20, 1993 - 1998
    • only available online at, free of charge
  • Since 2000 all the articles are viewable by subscribers via Blackwell’s Synergy online service

The Best series…the first 5 years and years 6-11

the current publishers blackwell
The current publishers - Blackwell
  • Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading specialist publisher of statistics journals
  • Annual report to Teaching Statistics Trust
    • Readership, circulation, sales, marketing activity
    • Conferences, new marketing campaigns, promotions
  • Working with search engines
    • Full text content indexed by Google in 2003
    • Increase in online usage
  • E-proofing introduced, so authors can pick up page proofs from a dedicated web site
  • Blackwell recently awarded, jointly with the Teaching Statistics Trust, a bursary for a UK teacher to present a paper at ICOTS7 in Brazil
the future
The Future
  • The Teaching Statistics Trust occasionally debates broadening the readership beyond teachers of students 9 -19
    • Resisted, as school-level material would be in danger of being crowded out
    • TS is still the only international journal that concentrates on school-level statistics material
  • Not designed for research papers in the traditional academic journal way
    • Will continue to be about good ideas, things that have been tried and have worked in the classroom
  • About sharing good practice worldwide
visit us on the web at http www rsscse org uk ts
Visit us on the web at: