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The measurement of school students' understanding of statistical variation


Watson, JM and Kelly, BA and Callingham, RA and Shaughnessy, JM, The measurement of school students' understanding of statistical variation, International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 34, (1) pp. 1-29. ISSN 0020-739X (2003) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1080/0020739021000018791


The paper presents a questionnaire devised to assess school students' understanding of statistical variation. The questionnaire is based on earlier research into students' understanding of the chance and data curriculum and recent work, more specifically related to variation. It was devised, piloted, revised, and administered to 746 students in grades 3, 5, 7, and 9 in ten Tasmanian schools. The analysis of outcomes was carried out in three stages: a hierarchical coding scheme was developed based on a structural model of cognitive development; a Rasch analysis was carried out to produce a variable map of student performance and item difficulty on a single scale; and a holistic model of development was suggested for the questionnaire. Outcomes for individual items are presented to illustrate the range of student responses, and possible rubrics for use by teachers. For some items, comparisons are made with results of other researchers.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
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, JM (Professor Jane Watson)
UTAS Author:Kelly, BA (Mr Ben Kelly)
UTAS Author:Callingham, RA (Associate Professor Rosemary Callingham)
ID Code:27415
Year Published:2003
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2003-08-01
Last Modified:2010-05-04
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