10th International
Conference on
Teaching Statistics
8 – 13 July 2018
Kyoto, Japan
Contributed paper list

Contributed Paper C143


Early Childhood Experiences In Inferential Statistics Using An Inquiry Approach


Debra Mcphee (Australia)
Katie Makar (Australia)


Debra McPhee (Australia)


Young children’s capabilities to engage with and understand statistical inference are often underestimated in classrooms. Yet observation of teacher pedagogy indicates that an inquiry approach to studying statistics fosters thinking and understanding above age level expectations.

This paper is a study of an early childhood class (ages 4/5) where a teacher introduces an inquiry for the first time. The children have had no previous experience with statistics or inquiry as a mathematical pedagogy.

The pedagogy in this classroom follows an established protocol for inquiry learning. Children engage with a question, interact with each other, and the teacher.

Observations of children’s capacity with the topic, and examples of their recordings, will be used to discuss how pedagogy creates substantive thinking about statistics beyond age level expectations.