Statistics, Introductory, Literacy, Scale, Constructivist, Behaviorist, Teaching


This study examined the teaching practices of 227 college instructors of introductory statistics from the health and behavioral sciences. Using primarily multidimensional scaling (MDS) techniques, a two-dimensional, 10-item teaching-practice scale, TISS (Teaching of Introductory Statistics Scale), was developed. The two dimensions (subscales) are characterized as constructivist and behaviorist; they are orthogonal. Criterion validity of the TISS was established in relation to instructors’ attitude toward teaching, and acceptable levels of reliability were obtained. A significantly higher level of behaviorist practice (less reform-oriented) was reported by instructors from the U.S., as well as instructors with academic degrees in mathematics and engineering, whereas those with membership in professional organizations, tended to be more reform-oriented (or constructivist). The TISS, thought to be the first of its kind, will allow the statistics education community to empirically assess and describe the pedagogical approach (teaching practice) of instructors of introductory statistics in the health and behavioral sciences, at the college level, and determine what learning outcomes result from the different teaching-practice orientations. Further research is required in order to be conclusive about the structural and psychometric properties of this scale, including its stability over time.



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