This paper is from Session 8D: Research on developing students’ statistical reasoning
which comes under Topic 8: Research in statistics education
(Thursday 17th, 10:55-12:25)
Extending the curriculum with TinkerPlots: opportunities for early development of informal inference
- Noleine Fitzallen (University of Tasmania, Australia)
- Jane Watson (University of Tasmania, Australia)
Although increasing in recent years, the statistics content in the curriculum does not always align with students’ ability to develop an understanding of those key concepts. In this paper, two examples are presented that challenge the school curriculum by introducing students to activities that focus on decision making under uncertainty earlier than when first acknowledged in the curriculum. The first study investigated Grade 5 and 6 students’ understanding of covariation; the second investigated Grade 10 students’ understanding of resampling. Common to both studies were the emphases on opportunities for the development of informal inference and the application of the software package, TinkerPlots. In both cases, many students based their confidence in conclusions on visual aspects of the strength of an association or shape of a simulated distribution. Besides making suggestions for future curriculum improvement, this presentation draws attention to pointers for development of student understanding.