ERIC Number: ED374978
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Statistics in Middle School: An Exploration of Students' Informal Knowledge.
Jacobs, Victoria R.; Lajoie, Susanne P.
Ten high-ability middle school students participated in a 13 week enrichment program on inferential statistics. Consistent with the NCTM Standards, classes emphasized problem solving in real world contexts and the communication of mathematical ideas. Students struggled with written assignments, yet worked effectively in pairs, small groups, and whole class discussions. Students also proved capable of teaching the class and developing their own tests. Significant improvement in student performance from pretest to posttest showed that instruction improved students' statistical understanding. Analysis of students' written work and protocols of classroom dialogues indicated that students had considerable experience with both chance and inferences in decision-making. Students were familiar with the language of probability although they struggled with the concept of equally likely outcomes. Students were comfortable with the use of sampling in their everyday lives but their understanding was limited to particular problem contexts and constrained by their inability to make spontaneous connections between statistical results and how those results might be used. Contains 25 references. (Author/MKR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin