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Teaching Probability

Learn how to create effective lessons on probability to help equip 11 - 16 year olds with skills for life.

3,260 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Make your lessons on probability more effective

Probability is a vital part of the maths curriculum for 11 - 16 year olds worldwide - a good foundational knowledge of probability can be useful throughout life, helping students make informed decisions big and small. Despite this, probability is often poorly understood.

On this course you will work to change that, learning how to create and deliver more effective lessons on probability by using practical and frequency-based approaches. Taking a realistic, instead of abstract algebraic, approach this course will equip you with skills and ideas to take back to your classroom.

What topics will you cover?

  • Consideration of probability from everyday experience, and a review of how it is currently taught
  • Theoretical and experimental approaches, extending to consideration of frequencies
  • Conditional probability and data modelling
  • Representation of data, including frequency trees and Venn diagrams
  • Set theory
  • Independent and mutually exclusive events

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Evaluate the current teaching of probability in schools.
  • Apply frequency-based experimental and simulation approaches to tackling problems in probability.
  • Model conditional probability scenarios, including topical real-world situations, using experiments and simulations.
  • Compare theoretical and experimental approaches, focusing on the gap between ‘real-world’ and abstract treatments of probability.
  • Reflect on the potential of frequency-based approaches to make the teaching of probability more meaningful, and to effectively tackle challenging exam-style questions.

Who is the course for?

This course is for a range of teachers including: teachers of 11-16 mathematics curricula in England (including KS3 and GCSE), teachers of 11-16 Cambridge International mathematics curricula worldwide (including Checkpoint and IGCSE), teachers of other 11-16 mathematics curricula and qualifications which involve probability. It will also be useful for trainee teachers in teacher training colleges and on placement in schools, mathematics curriculum advisers and providers of mathematics CPD.

Who will you learn with?

I'm Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at Cambridge University, and work to improve the way that probability and stats are taught and used in society. Also President of RSS 2017-8.

Jenny Gage taught maths in UK 11-18 schools and the Open University, then created resources in the MMP. She still gives workshops based on 'Teaching Probability', and is also a vicar and a granny.

I'm an experienced mathematics teacher, adviser and writer. I'm interested in how learners make sense of mathematics and probability in particular, both inside and outside the classroom.

Who developed the course?

Cambridge University Press

Cambridge University Press publishes inspiring and high quality resources for schools all around the world.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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