Teaching Statistical Thinking: Part 1 Descriptive Statistics

The primary aim of this course is to prepare high school teachers for teaching descriptive statistics; in addition, this course enables any global citizen to understand the basic descriptive statistics presented by the media from breakfast to bedtime. Descriptive statistics, as the name implies, refers to the describing or summarizing of a set of data using graphics and number summaries. This course covers descriptive statistics for a single variable and for the relationship between two variables. Core principle videos cover the statistical content, while satellite videos discuss pedagogy, teaching resources, and analyzing data using JMP software. These satellite videos present concepts via examples spanning pop culture, sports, youth, and other topics suitable for high school classrooms.


  • A 4-week long MOOC with online modules to train high school teachers to teach probability and statistics using common core educational standards; also offers resources teachers can use to engage students.
  • Draws on collaborations with the Duke Program in Education, Duke Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Alumni, Bass Connections, the North Carolina School of Science and Math, the SAS Institute, and the American Statistical Association.
  • Duke students and alumni contributed to course content creation and course design.
  • Potential for professional development credits for teachers.



  • Statistical Science
  • Program in Education
  • Statistical Science

Project Use:


Launch Date:

  • October 2014