Contributed paper list

   (Monday 12th, 11:00-12:30)

Developmental changes in Australian school students’ interest for statistical literacy


Colin Carmichael, Ian Hay


Colin Carmichael (Australia)


Research in the mathematics context demonstrates that in general students’ interest declines during their secondary school education. Such research has not, however, explored student interest for specific aspects of their learning. This study reports on apparent age differences in student responses to items in a statistical literacy interest inventory. A sample of 791 Australian secondary school students responded on a five-point Likert scale to 31 self-descriptions relating to their interest for statistical literacy. The analysis of cross-tabulations of school year with level of interest revealed that younger students are more likely to be interested in activities related to chance and the use of computers. Older students, on the other hand, are more likely to value the ability to interpret statistics in media and scientific contexts. Interview data is used to illuminate these findings and implications for the teaching of statistics are discussed.