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Teaching JMP to High School Teachers...a Dream Come True

I have always wanted to be a high school math teacher but instead I’ve worked on a dairy farm, managed apartments, worked construction, been a bank auditor and made a living as a SAS programmer.

But about 11 years ago my career took a fortuitous turn when SAS hired me to teach statistics using JMP, SAS/STAT (SAS programming) and SAS Enterprise Guide; thank you, Dr. Goodnight, Dr. Herb Kirk, Mr. Larry Stewart, Dr. Jerry Oglesby, Dr. Bob Lucas and Heath Rushing...it was a dream come true for me...40 years in the making.

Now, I'm helping high school teachers more effectively teach AP Statistics. How? It’s easy. I teach them how to use JMP!

For the past several months, I have been working with two local AP stat teachers to help them incorporate JMP into their classes.

There is a very short learning curve with JMP:

• uses a point-and-click environment

• generates graphs first, before any statistical analysis

• is fast and easy to enter a small data table

• can directly read any MS Excel file (.XLS); no intermediate step needed

• has drop-down menus that are easily understood and well organized

In addition:

• JMP Starter Window is a great visual tool to learn about JMP

• JMP Help is just a couple of clicks away

• JMP Tutorials are included in the software

• JMP statistical examples for students are included in the software

• JMP manuals are included with the product, stored as PDF files.

For textbooks, one school uses The Practice of Statistics: TI-83/89 graphing calculator enhanced.—2nd ed. / Daniel S. Yates, David S. Moore, Daren S. Starnes; ©2003 W. H. Freeman and Company; the other uses the 3rd edition, © 2008 W. H. Freeman and Company.

During my time with these fine high school teachers, I had an epiphany:

Once the students enter college, they have to know that JMP is there to help them in their college courses and in their future careers, realizing that the AP stat course uses to “crunch the numbers” on their TI calculators.

We installed JMP 6 Learning Edition on the teachers' laptops. Over the course of several weeks, they quickly learned the JMP basics.

I even shared a couple of JMP scripts that we use in our JMP Training classes, and one of the teachers shared them with her class. I was thrilled for her and her students.

The other teacher wanted to superimpose an exponential model to data: The class investigated the failure of the simple linear regression model and transformed the dependent variable.

Of course, JMP can do it. Both models were generated and added to the same plot. Here is an example using one of our class data tables, only showing the graph:

Though I'm not technically a high school teacher, I can now help high school AP stat instructors help their students by sharing my enthusiasm for JMP (and maybe a little of my JMP knowledge).

What a fantastic feeling.

As the late James Brown, once wrote and sang: “I feel good”.

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Dr. Sanford Aranoff wrote:

Good idea to use software programs to teach statistics. However, we must understand what stat is - how to look at data, predict the future with what types of errors, etc. Basic point is that we must understand how students think, and build from there. See "Teaching and Helping Students Think and Do Better" on amazon.


Scott Moore wrote:

I see this is an older post. Forward to 2015. I am working with an instructor here in Charleston, SC and use Student JMP in AP Stats. We spent the first half of the year doing formula. This was and is necessary. However, while doing the heavy lifting, we made sure that two or three times a week we discussed real world examples of where the formula they are learning are actually being used. In particular we focus on the students area of interest. This is easy in 2015 since so much of our world is being impacted by statistics.

Now in the second half of AP stats, JMP is starting to come into it own. One of the best attributes of JMP is the ability to display the data, which starts the conversation on what we can do with it. We have stayed with the basic data set "Big Class" since that one data set is simple enough to get ones head around it, but also can be analyzed using all the JMP tools in an intuitive way.

The instructor is completely in control of the class and decides on the method and curriculum. As the stats/JMP/this is cool stuff support person, I am only there to support the teachers effort, research (should have known) the "questions" we hoped they would not ask, introduce the software, and bring some energy to the class, to make it the best class the students take, not the one they dread. So for you stats bent men and woman out there, if you really want to give back to your science, this is a great way to do it by taking a little time to help out in your local school with AP Stats. Thank you JMP for providing software to schools.