In France, I am under the impression that the probability & statistics teaching in secondary school contains many disasters. For example, here are two typical exercises in books:

  1. A coin is flipped 100 times and the results are 40 heads and 60 tails. What is the probability of getting one head ?

  2. In a company containing 1000 employees, there are 400 women and 600 men. Does this company discriminate in job hirings ?

So, you wonder why do I say that in Cross Validated meta ? Well, I was thinking about that and I was tempted to open a discussion in Cross Validated about this topic. Cross Validated members come from many countries, and then I thought that such a discussion could be interesting.

However I'm afraid such a question does not fit well with Cross Validated. Firstly, it is not clear what I'm asking here; from one hand, I am interested in the causes of such a bad teaching, and from the other hand I am interested in the status of this teaching in other countries. It is rather a "discussion request" than a question. Secondly, I'm afraid such a question could become "popular", and brings me many reputation points whereas this is not what I expect. By the way I could be seen as cynical if I opened such a question (especially since I'm not a comfortable English speaker, it's difficult to assess the perception of my readers, and to improve my text in order to avoid misperception).

Thus, for opening such a potentially "popular question", or rather discussion, should we find another place than Cross Validated ?

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    $\begingroup$ I don't perceive you as cynically pursuing reputation. However, I'm not sure this discussion belongs on meta.CV. I think you could 'create a new room' in chat, & it could profitably be discussed there. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Oct 7 '13 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ What question is it that you want to ask? $\endgroup$ – whuber Oct 7 '13 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ @whuber, I wanted to discuss about the statistics teaching at secondary school. CV members are the better persons I know for sharing such a discussion, but I say (here, on meta.CV) that I think that CV is not a good place for such a discussion. So I ask (here, on meta.CV) what should I do ? $\endgroup$ – Stéphane Laurent Oct 7 '13 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ So @gung has given an answer to my question. I never think about the chat, and I have almost never used it. So I will try to use it more often. $\endgroup$ – Stéphane Laurent Oct 7 '13 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ Another possible answer to my question is to propose me to open a reference request about some texts about the status of statistics teaching in different countries. But is there a tag about statistical education, or something like that ? $\endgroup$ – Stéphane Laurent Oct 7 '13 at 20:07
  • $\begingroup$ You are free to create tags as they are needed. $\endgroup$ – whuber Oct 7 '13 at 21:26
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    $\begingroup$ I think this is a very engaging question. Being educated in a country (Greece) were we effectively had only Maths in secondary school (OK, we were shown a bell curve just before graduating but pretty much just that) it is really interesting for me to see other people's thoughts and experiences on the matter. A chat room sounds like a good idea. $\endgroup$ – usεr11852 Oct 8 '13 at 14:04
  • $\begingroup$ @gung, I didn't mean cynical in regards to reputation points: I said I was afraid to be perceived as cynical because of my negative opinion on the statistics teaching, in case if I opened such a discussion. $\endgroup$ – Stéphane Laurent Oct 8 '13 at 20:48
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    $\begingroup$ a good teaching resource is Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education. I don't know if they have any discussion forums though. There are two journals on statistics education, so I imagine you can try to create a stir through a publication in these. $\endgroup$ – StasK Nov 4 '13 at 2:14

Because we are not a discussion site and you have no specific question in mind, your idea is definitely off topic. If you had a specific question then, depending on what it is, it might be on-topic here or perhaps on the Academia site. Chat is an option, but few people participate.

  • $\begingroup$ I didn't know Academia, thanks. Though I'm not sure many mathematicians participate to Academia. Your remark about the subactivity of the chat confirms my impression about the chat. $\endgroup$ – Stéphane Laurent Oct 7 '13 at 21:24
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    $\begingroup$ It is true that few people participate, but maybe more people might discuss a particular topic if it were announced here, perhaps like the 'CV journal club'. Ie, this meta post could alert people who might be interested, especially if it were edited w/ an announcement & a link to the new chat room. @StéphaneLaurent, you may also note there are other stats forums online (cf, my comment here). $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Oct 7 '13 at 22:25
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    $\begingroup$ @gung That is a good idea. High-rep users can create a dedicated chat room and mods can issue "community messages" (just like the recent CV elections notification) that will automatically stay for a couple of days. Perhaps we could establish a mechanism whereby special chats are proposed here in meta and, if they receive enough upvotes, a mod would then create the room and publish a notice of it. The rest would be up to the community. :-) $\endgroup$ – whuber Oct 7 '13 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ I believe @StéphaneLaurent can create a chat room already. I don't know if you are referring to something different, but the standard 'create chat room' privilege is listed as rep>100. $\endgroup$ – gung - Reinstate Monica Oct 7 '13 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ @gung But neither our O.P. nor any non-moderator can create a community message. $\endgroup$ – whuber Oct 8 '13 at 3:13
  • $\begingroup$ There's a fair number of active, high-rep mathematicians on Academia.SE. But I would expect that this would be a very narrow topic for their site. $\endgroup$ – StasK Nov 4 '13 at 2:11

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