NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1155927
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0045-0685
Those Muddling M's: Scaffolding Understanding of Averages in Mathematics
Quinnell, Lorna
Australian Mathematics Teacher, v73 n3 p6-12 2017
Compared to the use of the word "average" in the media and in everyday conversations, an average is used very precisely in mathematics. This is complicated by the fact that there are three different types of averages: means, medians, and modes. As with other concepts, scaffolding understanding of mathematical averages is important. Such understanding is one of the proficiency strands or key ideas in the "Australian Curriculum: Mathematics" (ACARA, 2015a). The aim of a focus on understanding avoids superficial statements about averages, and of descriptions referring to methods of calculating averages with no connections to conceptual understanding and to real-life applications. Developing understanding of averages can be achieved through multiple scaffolding activities, including activities that focus on real data, and activities that extend to critical thinking about the use of the words average and median in the media.
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A