Data and statistics are an interesting area within mathematics which can be used widely within different subject areas. Data is defined as the collection of any facts and information, whereas statistics is specifically collecting and analysing numerical data.
It is known that the use of data and statistics reaches back to 35,000 years ago. At this time, the oldest mathematical tool, the Lebombo Bone, was used in order to collect and record data by bushmen in Namibia. This was similar to tally marks and was carved into the piece of bone – often the fibula of a baboon. This method of recording information was found to be used near the Border Cave in the Lebombo Mountains between South Africa and Swaziland. As it had 29 markings, it is believed that it could have been used to track the moon phases, menstrual cycles, or simply as a measuring stick.
This finding emphasises how long data and statistics have been around for and how it has developed over the years. Thousands of years on, we are now using software on computers to withhold information for us. We are able to create tables, whether on paper or within the computer, and input the data or statistics in order to collect all the information together.
Within the public health department, doctors must be numerate every day. This includes working out the doses of medication for individual patients or organising money for new drugs. Workers within this department also frequently use data and statistics to track the health of their patients. Graphs are used regularly in order to plot the rate a baby is growing within the womb, so they can track whether they’re growing at a healthy rate or not. They also use graphs to plot a patients height against their weight to be able to work out whether they’re under weight or obese for their height.
To conclude, data and statistics have been around for many years and is used within many subjects and vacations other than mathematics. Children learn how to collect data and statistics within maths, however, will use it within different areas such as topic work or ICT, etc. and will find it useful in the future. As a teacher i must make sure my lessons are effective and are stage appropriate in order for the children to learn successfully. I will also use data and statistics when teaching in order to note and calculate when assessing children. I will also use data with the class register as it will include the children’s full names, date of births and whether they have any additional support needs. Overall, data and statistics will be used regularly during my teaching career.