5 February 2018

The Central Limit Theorem – with Dragons

To quote Willy Wonka, “A little magic now and then is relished by the best of men [and women].” Any frequent reader of this blog will know that I am of a pragmatic nature when it comes to using statistics. For most people the Central Limit Theorem can remain in the realms of magic. I have never taught it, though at times I have waved my hands past it. Students who want that sort of thing can read about it in their textbooks or look it up online. The New Zealand school curriculum does not include it, as I explained […]
17 September 2012

The Central Limit Theorem: To teach or not to teach

The question of whether to teach explicitly the Central Limit Theorem seems to divide instructors along philosophical lines. Let us look first at these lines. There are at least three different areas of activity within the discipline of statistics. These are Theory of statistics and research into statistics Practice of statistics Teaching statistics and related research Theory and research in statistics The theory of statistics is mathematical. It is taught and practised in Mathematics and Statistics Departments of Universities. It is possible to be an expert on the theory and mathematics of statistics while having little contact with real data. […]