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This is a session of Topic 8: Research in statistics education

(Tuesday 15th, 15:45-17:15)

Research on developing students’ informal statistical inferential reasoning



Research on Informal Inferential Reasoning (IIR) studies the processes in and around the cognitive activities involved in informally drawing conclusions from data about a “wider universe” while attending to the strengths and limitations of the drawn inferences (Ben-Zvi, 2006). It sits on the three legs of Informal Statistical Inference (ISI): generalization, data as evidence and uncertainty (Makar & Rubin, 2009). In the last few years IIR has become a prominent field of interest among researchers in statistics education revealing pathways by which it can serve as a bridge from exploratory data analysis to formal statistical inference.

In this session we plan to discuss current perceptions and research results relating and/or contributing to theoretical frameworks whilst providing data from students’ IIR. Papers in this session will focus on extended theoretical aspects of informal inference, reasoning about uncertainty in the context of ISI, and exploring students’ informal inferential reasoning through data games. We expect to explore questions such as how students infer informally from sample to population in various contexts, what samples and sampling variability might suggest about “the bigger picture” including the interplay of uncertainty, and how a learning environment can facilitate students’ informal statistical inference.


PaperTitlePresenter / Co-author(s)
8C1Informal statistical inference revisitedKatie Makar (Australia)
Andee Rubin (United States)
8C2Students’ reasoning about uncertainty while making informal statistical inferences in an “integrated pedagogic approach”Dani Ben-Zvi (Israel)
Hana Manor Braham (Israel)
Keren Aridor-Berger (Israel)
8C3Exploring informal inferential reasoning through data gamesKosoom Kreetong (United States)