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Eye color and the practice of statistics in Grade 6: comparing two groups


Watson, J and English, L, Eye color and the practice of statistics in Grade 6: comparing two groups, Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 49 pp. 35-60. ISSN 0732-3123 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Elsevier Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jmathb.2017.06.006


This study followed the progress of 85 Grade 6 students as they expanded their understanding and application of the practice of statistics to include comparing two groups of people: those with brown eyes and those with eyes of other colors. Based on a claim in the media that brown-eyed people had faster reaction times than others, the students collected data from their class to explore and evaluate the claim for their class and make an inference for all Grade 6 students. They then collected and analyzed four random samples of the same size as their class from a national "population" of Grade 6 students. Finally the data from the "population" of 1786 Grade 6 students were used to evaluate the claim. Data for analysis of student capacity to engage in the practice of statistics were collected from student workbooks completed while carrying out the activity, corroborated by transcripts of all class discussion, and from an assessment administered following the activity. Although the correlation of outcomes from the workbook and assessment was significant (p < 0.01) and many students completed the activity in a highly competent manner, the analysis also found conceptual understanding was not retained as well as procedural understanding.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:statistics education, grade 6, comparing two groups, informal inference
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Mathematics and numeracy curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Watson, J (Professor Jane Watson)
ID Code:121867
Year Published:2018
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP120100158)
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2017-10-18
Last Modified:2019-01-21

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