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ERIC Number: EJ912319
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
ISSN: ISSN-1098-6065
The Reasoning behind Informal Statistical Inference
Makar, Katie; Bakker, Arthur; Ben-Zvi, Dani
Mathematical Thinking and Learning: An International Journal, v13 n1-2 p152-173 2011
Informal statistical inference (ISI) has been a frequent focus of recent research in statistics education. Considering the role that context plays in developing ISI calls into question the need to be more explicit about the reasoning that underpins ISI. This paper uses educational literature on informal statistical inference and philosophical literature on inference to argue that in order for students to generate informal statistical inferences, there are a number of interrelated key elements that are needed to support their informal inferential reasoning. In particular, we claim that ISI is nurtured by statistical knowledge, knowledge about the problem context, and useful norms and habits developed over time, and is supported by an inquiry-based environment (tasks, tools, scaffolds). We adopt Peirce's and Dewey's view that inquiry is a sense-making process driven by doubt and belief, leading to inferences and explanations. To illustrate the roles that these elements play in supporting students to generate informal statistical inferences, we provide an analysis of three sixth-graders' (aged 12) informal inferential reasoning--the reasoning processes leading to their informal statistical inferences. (Contains 2 figures, 2 tables and 2 footnotes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A