This paper is from Session 6C: Teaching Probability in School - Understanding Probability and Linking to Statistical Inference
which comes under Topic 6: Innovations in teaching probability
Paper 6C1 (Thursday 12th, 14:00-15:30)
Do high school students understand the sampling distribution of a proportion?
- María M. Gea (University of Granada, Spain)
- Carmen Batanero (University of Granada, Spain)
- Nuria Begué (University of Granada, Spain)
- Pablo Beltrán-Pellicer (University of Zaragoza, Spain)
The Spanish curricular guidelines, as well as the entrance to university tests for social science high school students (17-18-year-olds) include sampling distributions. To analyse the students’ understanding of this concept we proposed to 127 students in Spain a questionnaire with four sampling tasks, where the sample size (n= 100 and n=10) and the population proportion (equal or different to .5) were systematically varied. The analysis of students’ responses suggests a good understanding of the relationship between the theoretical proportion in the population and the sample proportion. However, the sampling variability was overestimated, particularly in big samples. We also observed the equiprobability and recency biases, as well as a deterministic conception in the students. The effect of the task variables on the students’ responses is also discussed.