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ERIC Number: EJ912392
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-1098-6065
Conceptual Challenges in Coordinating Theoretical and Data-Centered Estimates of Probability
Konold, Cliff; Madden, Sandra; Pollatsek, Alexander; Pfannkuch, Maxine; Wild, Chris; Ziedins, Ilze; Finzer, William; Horton, Nicholas J.; Kazak, Sibel
Mathematical Thinking and Learning: An International Journal, v13 n1-2 p68-86 2011
A core component of informal statistical inference is the recognition that judgments based on sample data are inherently uncertain. This implies that instruction aimed at developing informal inference needs to foster basic probabilistic reasoning. In this article, we analyze and critique the now-common practice of introducing students to both "theoretical" and "experimental" probability, typically with the hope that students will come to see the latter as converging on the former as the number of observations grows. On the surface of it, this approach would seem to fit well with objectives in teaching informal inference. However, our in-depth analysis of one eighth-grader's reasoning about experimental and theoretical probabilities points to various pitfalls in this approach. We offer tentative recommendations about how some of these issues might be addressed. (Contains 15 footnotes and 2 figures.)
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: Grade 8; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts