This paper is from Session 2A: Early years statistics education: ages 4 - 8
which comes under Topic 2: Statistics education at school level
(Tuesday 15th, 10:55-12:25)
Exposing young children to activities that develop emergent inferential practices in statistics
- Debra McPhee (University of Queensland, Australia)
- Katie Makar (University of Queensland, Australia)
Informal statistical inference has gained increasing recognition as an effective approach to teaching statistics. Distinct from descriptive statistics, inference provides learners with access to the power of statistics by giving them tools to make predictions beyond their data. International research in this area has focused on students from primary school through university. A series of teaching experiments introduced informal statistical inference to very young children (aged 5-6). Although making predictions was familiar as an everyday task, initial attempts revealed challenges to teaching informal inferential reasoning to young learners. Prior to conducting a statistical inquiry involving inference, activities were designed to generate a need for recording and organising data, the language of uncertainty and using data as evidence. Results suggest that the activities prior to inquiry likely supported students in their emerging inferential practices.