WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY ""AVERAGE""? by Elizabeth & Carol Barkin James


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Not everyone will agree with James and Barkin that the word ""average"" can signify not only mean but also median or mode. But the important thing is to distinguish among the three ""averages"" and understand the uses and limitations of each--and the authors do an admirable job of making all this effortlessly clear to--okay--the average late elementary school student. The whole lesson is set in the framework of one Jill Slater's student council campaign and her claim that as the ""most average"" person in the school she is best suited to represent everyone. The assumption might be questioned but it serves the purpose--and allows the authors to work in, by way of a student opinion survey, an explanation of sampling and sampling terms (especially randomness) and some examples (charts, graphs, percentiles) of the ways the results might be presented. Incidentally, Jill more than redeems herself at the end by espousing a new, important cause that comes up too late for a voter survey. And speaking of range, as Jill does in her calculations: a third grader could read and follow this; there are college students who could use it.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1978
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard