Building students' inferential reasoning: Statistics curriculum Levels 5 and 6

Funding year: 
2009
Duration:
2 years
Organisation: 
Auckland UniServices
Sector: 
School sector
Project start date: 
January 2009
Project end date: 
January 2011
Principal investigator(s): 
Dr. Maxine Pfannkuch
Research team members: 
Pip Arnold, Cognition Education; Chris Wild and Matt Regan, University of Auckland
Research partners: 
Anna Martin, Avondale College; Jason Ellwood, Otumoetai College; Jason Florence, Otahuhu College; Jeanette Saunders, St Cuthbert’s College; Lindsay Smith, Epsom Girls’ Grammar School; Marina McFarland, Auckland

Project Description

The project was a two-year collaboration among two statisticians, two researchers, and nine teachers. There was an urgent need to understand how students can progressively develop informal statistical inferential reasoning from Levels 5 to 8 of the new curriculum. The project team designed innovative approaches to develop students’ informal inferential reasoning and sought evidence that these innovations had a significant effect on improving students’ statistical reasoning in this domain.

The major implications of the key findings outlined in our summary report are:

  • Building students’ statistical concepts means the focus of learning shifts from how to construct plots and calculate “mean-median-mode” to how to reason from plots.
  •  Hands-on activities, using gestures, and dynamic visual imagery, which strongly connect sampling variability, plots, and inference, make concepts accessible for learning about decision-making under uncertainty.
  •  Engaging students’ imagination and contextual knowledge, and developing their language to describe shape are central to improving their statistical reasoning and thinking.

Dynamic Visual Imagery

                           Dynamic Visual Imagery

 

Project Outputs

​2010

Presentations, conferences and workshops

Ellwood, J. (2010). Developing Informal Inference at Level 6. Workshop at the Bay of Plenty Mathematics Association Teachers Day, 22 November 2010.

Pfannkuch, M., Regan, M., & Wild, C. (2010). Generalising from data. Presentation at Getstats Week, Plymouth University, Plymouth, 22-27 October 2010.

Wild, C. (2010). Early statistical inferences: “the eyes have it.” Presentation at Getstats Week, Plymouth University, Plymouth, 22-27 October 2010.

Pfannkuch, M., & Regan, M. (2010). Engaging with Shape. Workshop at Getstats Week, Plymouth University, Plymouth, 22-27 October 2010.

Pfannkuch, M., & Regan, M. (2010). Making a claim. Workshop at Getstats Week, Plymouth University, Plymouth, 22-27 October 2010.

Pfannkuch, M., Regan, M., & Wild, C. (2010). Generalising from data. Presentation at the Fourth International CensusAtSchool Workshop, Royal Statistical Society, London, 21 October 2010.

Wild, C. (2010). Early statistical inferences: “the eyes have it." Presentation at the Fourth International CensusAtSchool Workshop, Royal Statistical Society, London, 21 October 2010.

Pfannkuch, M., & Regan, M. (2010). Engaging with Shape. Workshop at the Fourth International CensusAtSchool Workshop, Royal Statistical Society, London, 21 October 2010.

Pfannkuch, M., & Regan, M. (2010). Making a claim. Workshop at the Fourth International CensusAtSchool Workshop, Royal Statistical Society, London, 21 October 2010.

Wild, C., Pfannkuch, M., Regan, M., & Horton, N. (2010). Towards more accessible conceptions of statistical inference. Paper presented by Chris Wild at the launch of the UK 10-year statistical literacy campaign, World Statistics Day, Royal Statistical Society, London, 20 October 2010.

Pfannkuch, M., Arnold, P., Wright, S., Florence, J., Ellwood, J., Smith, L. & McFarland, M. (2010). Developing inferential reasoning: Stories from Statistics classes. Presentation followed by Workshops at the Auckland Mathematical Association Statistics Teachers Day, 2 December 2010.
www.censusatschool.org.nz/2009/informal-inference/

Wild, C., Pfannkuch, M., Regan, M., & Horton, N. (2010). Towards more accessible conceptions of statistical inference. Paper presented by Chris Wild at the launch of the UK 10-year statistical literacy campaign, World Statistics Day, Royal Statistical Society, London, 20 October 2010.
www.rss.org.uk/main.asp?page=1321&event=1175 

Pfannkuch, M. (2010). Laying foundations for inference. Mathematics Education Unit Seminar, University of Auckland, 1 October 2010

2009

Presentations, conferences and workshops

Pfannkuch, M. (2009). Building students’ inferential reasoning in statistics: Research in progress. Mathematics Education Unit Seminar at The University of Auckland, 28 August 2009.

Pfannkuch, M., & Wild, C. (2009). Building inferential reasoning in statistics. Keynote presentation at the National Numeracy Conference, Auckland, 16-19 February 2009.
http://www.censusatschool.org.nz/2009/informal-inference/