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Created: August 19, 2003
Latest Update: August 21, 2003
Preparations Page for Statistics 220--01
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Er, would you believe the dog ate it?
Instructor: Jeanne Curran, Ph.D., Esq.
Course: Soc. 595-01: Alternative Approaches to Theory
Office Hours: TWTh 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.; evenings, before and after class
Teaching and Research Associate: Patricia Acone, A.B.T.
In the fast pace of a changing world everyone needs to know some basic statistics: how to read a chart, a graph, a table that is submitted as proof that some position is right, or wrong, or not the one you should vote, or the one you should vote fore. Local city councils deal with statistical information everyday. We all deal with budgetary information, either directly or indirectly.
Our focus in this course will be on drilling in depth those basics that every citizen needs. If you are going to go on to more advanced courses, or if you hope to understand the textual references you will encounter later, you'll have to dig a little deeper, and do a little more. But minimal requirements should serve you well in your role as citizen.
We expect you to understand statistical principles and their reasonable uses by non-experts in reading the social sciences, understand some of the more complex tables used to clarify systems of thought, and developing a facility with interpretation, especially interpretation of secondary analysis and putting traditional interpretations into "plain English."
Course Description: This is an introductory course designed to help you understand and interpret the analysis of data on social issues. We will explore statistics in the context of the theory and methods of the social sciences. The course will not require that you do computations, but that you understand the process and develop the skill of requesting statistical results from a computerized analysis program.
- Intuitive Grasp of What Statistics Is and How It Influences Our Perceptions
- Intuitive Grasp of Variables and Measurement
- Intuitive Grasp of Difference between Descriptive and Inferential Statistics
- Recognition and Interpretation of Tests of Significance
- Recognition and Interpretation of Measures of Association
- Intuitive Grasp of Causality
- Intuitive Grasp of the Process of Evaluating Authority
- Computer Literacy
- J. Richard Kendrick, Jr. Social Statistics: An Introduction Uing SPSS for Windows. Mayfield Publ. Co. 2000. ISBN: 0-7674-1001-7. Walks you step-by-step through the use of SPSS, which is a valuable skill to acquire. Fully illustrated with pictures of the computer screen, and clear explanatory language.
- Timothy J. Lawson. Everyday Statistical Reasoning. Wadsworth thomas Learning. 2002. ISBN: 0-534-59094-2. Readable and practical. Explains many of the statistical misunderstandings that get us in trouble.
- Objective:To master the concept of aesthetic process of answerability and its role in creating an atmosphere of morality and ethics in our institutions and world systems, particularly the educational system. Answerability
Outcomes: Students will participate in class discussions on answerability and the aesthetic process of collaborative creation. Academic Assessment
- Objective:To master the simple use of any computer that happens to be available.
Outcome: Students will participate in computer lab activities with a primary focus of familiarizing themselve with different machines and with mastering the techniques for starting up a computer, reaching the Internet, accessing a program, and doing so in a professional manner. This is about presentation of self in front of a computer.
- Objective:To develop an understanding of why and how SPSS, a statistical program often used in the social sciences, plays a role in their undergraduate education and in their future work. This is intended to provide a lasting security of their ability to discuss comfortably any simple statistical task in the normal course of their work.
Outcomes: Students will participate in class discussions on the ways in which statistical understanding might provide opportunity or challenge competency in their work. Students will select from these discussions an illustrative example to submit in writing.
- Objective:To master the basics of SPSS.
Outcome: Students will demonstrate in lab or office their ability to access the program, to explain the numbers that appear on the screens, to explain what variables are involved, how they are measured, to run a frequency program and explain the results.
- Objectives:To master the interpretation of data analysis in SPSS.
Outcomes: Students will be able to explain orally and in writing what a frequency table shows, what a crosstab shows, to explain measures of dispersion, and to demonstrate what graphs and tables are available to help in that interpretation.
- Objective:To master the interpretation of measures of association, correlations, t-tests, chi-square, and ANOVA.
Outcomes: Students will be able to demonstrate in the lab or the office that they can run these analyses on SPSS and interpret the results.
- Objective:To master basic interpretations for the most common statistical procedures.
Outcomes: Students will produce in writing for their own future use short examples and interpretations of each of the measures studied.
- Minimal Requirements for Passing Grades in Statistics 220-01
- Here Be Dragons: The Plagiarism Gotcha Game The university requires inclusion of this component, so it might be a good idea to take a look at it. I stole the title "here be dragons" from a feminist work on the site, but it was more in the spirit of "stealing theory," which is a good thing.
Permission to enroll in this course is premised on upper division status, rendering you capable of performing competently. However, I recognize that crises occur and that you have many conflicting demands as students, family members, and workers. Please remember that A's are earned, not given for the status characteristic of "being a good student who could get an A if he/she made the effort." One way to deal with such crises effectively is to be sure that I know when they are happening. Because most of my lectures and your practice are on the site, it's easier to make up missed time over conflicts than you might think.Nota bene: If you have the flu, please don't come and give it to the rest of us. We'll help you catch up when you're well. I lost three weeks to flu a year ago. The bugs are getting stronger and more resistant to medication. If I lose three weeks during classes, you'll be left with a substitute.
If you haven't slept, and are falling asleep from exhaustion, please stay home and sleep. Sleep deprivation is a very real problem. We all drive freeways to get here, and go home often late at night. You can kill yourself and others that way. Please don't.
I do not give specific deadlines, because I want you to use your common sense and your own discipline to study effectively. All work can be made up within university imposed limits.
Preparations Schedule for Statistics 220-01
- Reading and Discussion Preparations for Statistics 220-01
- Statistics: Minimal Requirements for Weeks 1 and 2 Minimal requirements are just a quick check list for you to determine what we consider absolutely minimal for you to have learned in this course. That means be prepared to assure us that you have learned it. No, we won't give a test. Your job to let us know that you know, in class, by e-mail, in the hallways, etc.
Footnote 1. Esq. means Esquire, and is sometimes used to indicate that you are a member of the Bar.
jeanne is a member of the California Bar. Back to top.