In a previous post here about “frequency trees” I said that I was more than happy to stand corrected by AQA, so I am on my feet and have been very much corrected …
Who’da thunk it!! Today it was pointed out to me that “frequency trees” are explicitly mentioned as a requirement in the DFE programme of study:
I’m sure Andrew Taylor at AQA wouldn’t mind me sharing the fact that many of the teachers they spoke to, were initially unfamiliar with the concept of “frequency trees”, and is one of the reasons for including it in the specimen papers so we could see what they actually were, and this is great thinking. He also pointed me in the direction of a blog by David Spiegelhalter here, who is supportive of the inclusion of frequency trees to “encourage the teaching of probability through expected outcomes”. Having this quote is great but I can’t find any other reference to them rooted in academia.
So I was wrong (sort of)! Ouch .. that hurts! Seriously though hats off to AQA for addressing the subject and not ignoring the fact that many teachers still think they are “made-up maths” Muchos Kudos! I think the matter needs to be taken up with the DFE for their inclusion or for someone to show their credentials to the teaching community! Over to you now DFE!
However (I love a good “however”!!!) … in my usual brutally honest fashion … I still don’t see the point of them. Its a way of thinking that I might explore “on the way” to probability trees but not something I would want to teach as a topic on its own.