ERIC Number: ED315270
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Which Group Is Better? The Development of Statistical Reasoning in Elementary School Children.
Gal, Iddo; And Others
Two issues were investigated in this study: (1) how well do children do descriptive statistics (i.e., accuracy); and (2) how do they do it. A total of 31 children in third grade (with no formal instruction in statistics) and 31 children in sixth grade (who had learned how to calculate a mean) compared a set of data from two domains: (1) the outcomes of frog jumping contests; and (2) the scores on a school test. Children were interviewed individually and asked to make decisions and explain their decisions related to eight problems. Accuracy rates for different types of problems and various solution methods used by children were analyzed. Solution strategies were categorized into three groups: (1) statistical; (2) proto-statistical; and (3) other/task-specific strategies. While sixth-graders were more accurate than third-graders, many of the sixth-graders had difficulty reasoning proportionally. Very few students reasoned statistically about the data. Many students used proto-statistical strategies. The more successful solvers seemed to choose solution strategies, which took into account those particular characteristics of the data sets which were relevant to the solution of the given problem. Lists 9 references. (YP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Pennsylvania Univ., Philadelphia. Literacy Research Center.
Authoring Institution: N/A