As a teacher, you are required to teach the same syllabus for each batch of students that you get. While students may not be enthusiastic about a particular subject, they are not the only ones who get bored in class. Teachers and professors are also prone to boredom. Hence, in order to create an interest for statistics in the minds of the students, it is important that the teacher is able to have fun and enjoy teaching the subject as well.
Why students do not enjoy statistics
When it comes to teaching middle school students as well as university students, the problems encountered are very similar. Statistics is not a very popular subject, but it may be a necessary subject in a particular course. Trying to create an interest among the students can be difficult for the following reasons.
- Statistics is a very technical and abstract subject that requires a lot of focus and concentration. There are a number of theories and formulas that need to be memorized in order to proceed from one topic to the other.
- The formulas tend to become very complicated and difficult to memorize or understand because of the number of notations and variables that are involved.
- For university students, who are sometimes required to study the subject, it can be difficult to comprehend the connection that statistics has to their corresponding majors.
- Younger students sometimes find it difficult to understand what the teacher is trying to explain to them; this may be because the teacher is unable to simplify the technical aspects of the subject.
- Middle school students have not developed a keen sense of reasoning or honed their problem-solving In turn, this makes solving statistical problems even more complicated, and plotting graphs and other such activities become more of a task than a fun activity.
- Some students are not very attentive, their lack of concentration makes it difficult to note small differences in their data, or they may note down the wrong material. By doing so, they are unable to solve their problems repeatedly and become frustrated.
How to make teaching and learning statistics fun
If you are teaching a batch of students that are relatively young or have just been introduced to the subject, then this is the time when you can create a passion for the subject in their minds. The key to gaining the interest of children is by being out of the box and inventive with your teaching methods. They are also easily attracted by bright, loud and colourful things around them.
- Use charts, placards, and flash cards in order to teach them a particular topic.
- Use a lot of colour when making your chart. This will instantly pull them closer to the chart to inspect what is written or drawn on it.
- Many schools have facilities where you can use videos or slideshows in order to explain a particular subject to your students. Use this to your advantage when trying to teach them a particularly difficult topic. Children are naturally attentive when something is playing for them to watch or listen to. This way you can use technology to your advantage.
- Kids are very familiar with computers and laptops these days, create tasks for them to complete that can be done on the computers in school.
- Create group projects; this will encourage the students to interact with each other, help each other out while doing the projects, and learn from each other in the process.
- Be attentive:
- It is very important that as a teacher you pay attention to your students individually.
- You should keep an eye out for students who are having a seemingly more difficult time understanding the subject than others.
- If you notice that most of the students are unable to understand the language of your statements or your methods of teaching, then make it a point to change your style of teaching here and there.
- If there are only one or two students who are having difficulty coping in class, offer them some extra guidance or tuition to bring them up to speed.
- Place students in class strategically. Place a student who is doing well in the subject next to someone who is not so that they can help each other.
- Create a safe space where students can come to you with their problems, be open, willing to help and interested in your students and their respective difficulties with statistics.
- Students, both young and old, find it difficult to grasp certain concepts in a subject if they do not understand the relevance of it to their lives or corresponding majors in college/university.
- When dealing with younger students use everyday experiences to help them understand statistics better.
- Give them practical work and projects that force them to go out and collect data and use that in their projects and homework. This will give them a clearer understanding of the subject.
- As a teacher, explain to older students, how statistics is relevant to their field of study or career path that they intend to pursue.
Each teacher has a goal that they intend to reach; in order to do this, your students will need to be interested in the subject that you are teaching. By following the tips given above, you can attempt to garner, in your students, a love for the subject. They will be able to follow the guidance that you give them and understand what you are trying to teach them.