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Workplace statistical literacy for teachers: Interpreting box plots


Pierce, R and Chick, H, Workplace statistical literacy for teachers: Interpreting box plots, Mathematics Education Research Journal, 25, (2) pp. 189-205. ISSN 1033-2170 (2013) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1007/s13394-012-0046-3


As a consequence of the increased use of data in workplace environments, there is a need to understand the demands that are placed on users to make sense of such data. In education, teachers are being increasingly expected to interpret and apply complex data about student and school performance, and, yet it is not clear that they always have the appropriate knowledge and experience to interpret the graphs, tables and other data that they receive. This study examined the statistical literacy demands placed on teachers, with a particular focus on box plot representations. Although box plots summarise the data in a way that makes visual comparisons possible across sets of data, this study showed that teachers do not always have the necessary fluency with the representation to describe correctly how the data are distributed in the representation. In particular, a significant number perceived the size of the regions of the box plot to be depicting frequencies rather than density, and there were misconceptions associated with outlying data that were not displayed on the plot. As well, teachers' perceptions of box plots were found to relate to three themes: attitudes, perceived value and misconceptions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:statistical literacy, box plots, NAPLAN, school reports, teachers interpreting data
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Technical, further and workplace education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Schools and learning environments not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Chick, H (Associate Professor Helen Chick)
ID Code:81632
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2012-12-20
Last Modified:2014-08-13
Downloads:374 View Download Statistics

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