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Statistical Variation in a Chance Setting: A Two-Year Study


Watson, JM and Kelly, BA, Statistical Variation in a Chance Setting: A Two-Year Study, Educational Studies in Mathematics, 57, (1) pp. 121-144. ISSN 0013-1954 (2004) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1023/B:EDUC.0000047053.96987.5f


A series of 13 survey questions based on a 50-50 spinner is used to explore school students' understanding of statistical variation in a chance setting. Five questions set the context by assessing the understanding of theoretical expectation and representation of repeated trials in a stacked dot (line) plot. Four questions provide opportunity to display appreciation of variation from point expectation and four questions address variation from distributional expectation. Three hundred and seventy-five students in Grades 39 answered some or all of these questions. These students then took part in a unit of study on chance and data emphasizing variation. Of these students, 334 answered a post-test including the same items and a further subset of 199 students completed a longitudinal survey of the same items two years later. Analysis of the initial data showed a progression of understanding across the years of schooling, plateauing at Grade 7, improvement for all grades after instruction, and generally sustained and continuing improved performance after two years. Educational issues are considered.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:chance - distribution - instruction - longitudinal data - point estimate - probability - spinners - variation
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)
ID Code:30935
Year Published:2004
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2004-08-01
Last Modified:2010-06-18
Downloads:5 View Download Statistics

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