Who is the best England batsman? An investigation using the mean, median, mode and range

Cricket isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but this lesson idea hasn’t failed to motivate any class that I have tried it on.

The idea is simple- look at the real world batting scores of England batsmen and use the mean, median, mode and range to decide who is the ‘best’ batsman. Each group of pupils are given these worksheets which list the scores, explains the task and also contain pictures that they might like to stick on a poster next to their statistical analysis and interpretive reasoning.

The pupils should be encouraged to decide what ‘best batsman’ actually means to them. They could take many views, for example, do you take the person with the highest score as being the best, but if they have the biggest range could you say they were inconsistent? Kevin Pietersen has a high median but a low mean i.e. he either scores big or not at all; does this make him better or worse than the others who have a higher mean? There are lots of different justifications the pupils could use and the task promotes interpretation and the drawing of conclusions based on justifying using the stats.

A nice plenary is to get each group to present their poster to the class explaining their decision of who is the best batsman and why.

Enjoy! Let us know how this lesson goes for you if you use it!

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