NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ883870
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-1033-2170
Structuring Variability by Negotiating Its Measure
Lehrer, Richard; Kim, Min-Joung
Mathematics Education Research Journal, v21 n2 p116-133 2009
Although variability and structure are often considered as antonyms in many everyday settings, a mathematically disciplined view contradicts this opposition. To initiate fifth- (10 years old) and sixth-grade (11 years old) students in this disciplinary view, we engaged students in practices of modeling data. These practices included inventing and revising data displays, inventing and revising measures of centre and variability, and inventing and revising models of chance to account for variability. Here we focus on prospective correspondences between students' invented measures (statistics) of variability and those favoured by the discipline. We suggest that inventing measures positions students to transform their vision of variability from mere difference to more structured forms, some of which coordinate centre and spread. By tracing interactions among an inventor, her classmates, and the teacher, we trace how structuring variability and constituting its measure co-originated during the course of negotiations about the meaning of the measure. Consideration of the coherency, transparency and generalisability of a statistic, all of which are valued by the discipline of statistics, emerged during the course of invention. (Contains 5 figures.)
Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. GPO Box 2747, Adelaide SA 5001, Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 5; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A