ABSTRACT

Probability and statistics have a special place in the field of mathematics. They are often considered as sub-disciplines, or in the case of statistics, even as a discipline in its own right. Indeed, statistics is a science related to the political, social and economic history of a country, which explains why there are strong cultural differences in teaching practices. In the 17th century, which is considered to be the dawn of modern statistics, two schools were opposed: the descriptive German naturalistic school and the English political arithmetic which developed treatment and extrapolation techniques based on the growing theory of probability. While the latter was adopted very quickly by most countries, the strength of the descriptive tradition depended on the country. Today, researchers in mathematics education agree that it is essential to combine a data-centric perspective with a modelling perspective. Nevertheless, this combination has different emphases from one country to the other.