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Connecting statistics educators on a local and international level

Joan GarfieldJoan Garfield, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Educational Psychology has been a catalyst in the local and international community of statistics education. In collaboration with other educators, she has founded journals, international forums, and local professional networking opportunities for educators with the aim of reducing the isolation that statistics educators often experience in their work and research.

One of Garfield's local community engagements is with Stat Chat , a monthly gathering she and two professors from Macalester and St. Olaf College established five years ago for prospective and current teachers of college-level statistics in high schools and technical and two-year colleges in the greater Twin Cities. At each meeting, participants build a sense of community while raising their awareness of key issues and guidelines in teaching statistics.

In addition to this involvement, Garfield has co-chaired the International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking and Literacy (SRTL) for the past decade. SRTL is an international forum of statisticians who focus on how people reason and think about statistics. Every two years, SRTL participants meet in a different country for a week to share their research at greater length and give and receive peer feedback. The forum is limited to approximately 24 participants, a mix of senior and new researchers. It is a self-supporting gathering, funded through the publication of their conference proceedings. According to Garfield these meetings have been tremendously generative and she is hopeful that they will continue to connect educators often segregated within their different professional communities.

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