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Modelling with authentic data in sixth grade


English, LD and Watson, J, Modelling with authentic data in sixth grade, ZDM Mathematics Education, 50, (1-2) pp. 103-115. ISSN 1863-9690 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 FIZ Karlsruhe

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11858-017-0896-y


This article explores 6th-grade students’ modelling with data in generating models for selecting an Australian swimming team for the (then) forthcoming 2016 Olympics, using data on swimmers’ times at various previous events. We propose a modelling framework comprising four components: working in shared problem spaces between mathematics and statistics; interpreting and reinterpreting problem contexts and questions; interpreting, organising and operating on data in model construction; and drawing informal inferences. In studying students’ model generation, consideration is given to how they interpreted, organised, and operated on the problem data in constructing their models, how they documented their models, and how they engaged in informal inferential reasoning. Students’ responses included applying mathematical and statistical operations and reasoning to selected variables, identifying how variation and trends in swimmers’ performances inform model construction, recognising limitations in using only one performance variable, and acknowledging uncertainty due to chance variation in drawing conclusions and making predications.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:data modelling, grade 6, data literacy, primary school, variation, uncertainty, informal inference, mathematisation, transnumeration
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:121868
Year Published:2018
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP120100158)
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2017-10-18
Last Modified:2018-12-06

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