ERIC Number: ED223412
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Oct-21
Reference Count: N/A
Structure and Process in Learning Probability. Final Report.
Myers, Jerome L.; And Others
Studies of methods of teaching statistics are reported. Three brief texts were written for the investigations; they varied in degree of explanation of basic concepts of elementary probability. Subjects were undergraduate students at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. None of the subjects had had previous formal exposure to probability or statistics. All texts presented six basic formulas from elementary probability and an example of the application of each formula. All three documents contained definitions of special terms. The high-explanatory text emphasized the relation of probability to counting, used pictorial aids, and presented equations as natural developments ensuing from examples. The standard text lacked this conceptual development, but presented more concrete examples than those found in the low-explanatory document. Subjects were given sufficient time to read their text, then given an unrelated 15-minute task to minimize immediate memory dependence. This was followed first by a performance test, then by an aptitude measure. Results suggested that very different patterns appear to be present in the high-explanatory subjects as compared to the other groups. In particular, subjects in the high-explanatory group tended not to retrieve formulas, but to recall examples. (MP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Massachusetts Univ., Amherst. Dept. of Psychology.