Statisticians Unsure Whether Teaching Students about Correlation Enhances Understanding of Correlation

Mathematicians across the country have revealed that they cannot be certain that, despite statistics to the contrary, teaching their pupils about correlation and scatter plots is actually improving the teenagers’ grasp of these relatively simple concepts.

“With correlation, it’s impossible to infer cause and effect,” Geoffrey Singer, a maths teacher in north Essex, told reporters. “I mean, sure, we tell them about stats, and their stats grades appear to improve, but who’s to say that’s down to us?”

“I just don’t know what to do,” an exasperated Singer stated.

Since the infamous 2005 “pirates prevent global warming” spoof baffled thousands in Britain and North America, government officials have demanded that a greater emphasis be placed on statistics in the classroom. Teachers everywhere are uncertain about the policy’s effectiveness though.

“Well, the graphs show that calls for more stats increased at around the same time that the teaching focus shifted, but stats can be twisted to show almost anything,” explained Singer, looking forlorn as he leafed through an old S1 A-level text book.

“74% of people know that,” he continued.

Since this report, the government has promised a full investigation, saying that they are “excited to get to use these advanced calculators”, which they haven’t done since school, but they “hope that there are no histograms involved” as they always found those “tricky”.

Meanwhile, sources say that Singer was left staring at a bell-shaped curve, questioning whether any of us really have the right to say “what is normal”.


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