Contributed paper list

   (Thursday 17th, 15:45-17:15)   In session C14A

A glimpse of two year college instructors’ understanding of variation in histograms


Monica Dabos (United States)


Statistics education researchers are urging teachers of statistics to help students develop a more sophisticated understanding of variation, since variation is the core of statistics. However, little research has been done into the conceptions of variation held by instructors of statistics at the post-secondary level. This exploratory study was designed to map the conceptions of variation held by two-year college mathematics instructors. A total of 52 instructors from 33 different California community colleges responded to a survey designed to reveal instructors’ conception of variation. The results indicate that a tendency to focus only on the center of the distribution seemed to prevail and very few instructors gave explanations integrating different aspects of the distribution. The majority focused on the center or on the range, and instructors’ lack of consideration for context was also notorious. This study has opened the gate and laid the groundwork for understanding conceptions of variation held by two-year college instructors.