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ERIC Number: EJ998822
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0045-0685
Box Plots in the Australian Curriculum
Watson, Jane M.
Australian Mathematics Teacher, v68 n3 p3-11 2012
This article compares the definition of "box plot" as used in the "Australian Curriculum: Mathematics" with other definitions used in the education community; describes the difficulties students experience when dealing with box plots; and discusses the elaboration that is necessary to enable teachers to develop the knowledge necessary to use them effectively. The box plot is 40 years old. Like many 40-year-olds the box plot has changed its shape and varied its personal descriptors over the years. Its power to inform exploratory data analysis has gained it a place in statistics curricula at various levels in many countries. The "Australian Curriculum: Mathematics" has placed it at Year 10 in the Statistics and Probability strand of the learning area. As the curriculum document is sparse in its description and elaboration of the term, three issues relating to the needs of the teachers required to implement the curriculum are discussed in this article: (1) there is not one universally accepted definition of a box plot and teachers need to be aware that they and their students may encounter contradictions in different contexts where different conventions apply; (2) teachers need to be aware of the difficulties their students encounter in understanding box plots; and, (3) there is minimal advice in the curriculum elaborations about how the box plot can be used effectively in a statistical investigation. (Contains 12 figures, 1 table and 1 footnote.)
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: Grade 10; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia