The teaching of probability and of statistics in secondary schools in the UK, as in most countries, takes place rightly or wrongly in mathematics classes. As the mathematics curriculum becomes increasingly influenced by software developments that facilitate a focus on drawing inferences by manipulating and representing data as in Exploratory Data Analysis, probability retreats into an isolated world of coins, dice and spinners. Secondary school students are not being encouraged to see the wider relevance of probabilistic thinking. Very recent software developments promise the re-connection of probability and reasoning about data by offering probability as a modelling tool. Opportunities are now available to review how these developments might redirect the curriculum including the wider and earlier use of probability as a subjective measure of chance. This paper will review some of these possibilities.
Keywords: Probabilistics thinking; Reasoning about data; Modelling; Computer software design
Biography: Dr Dave Pratt is professor of mathematics education at the Institute of Education, University of London.