Personal experiences and beliefs in probabilistic reasoning: Implications for research
Sharma, S. (2006). Personal experiences and beliefs in probabilistic reasoning: Implications for research. International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education, 1(1), 33-54.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2056
Concerns about students' difficulties in statistical thinking led to a study which explored form five (14 to 16 year olds) students’ ideas in this area. The study focussed on probability, descriptive statistics and graphical representations. This paper presents and discusses the ways in which students made sense of probability concepts used in individual interviews. The findings revealed that many of the students used strategies based on beliefs, prior experiences (everyday and school) and intuitive strategies. From the analysis, I identified a four category rubric that could be considered for describing how students construct meanings for probability questions. While students showed competence with theoretical interpretation, they were less competent on tasks involving frequentist definition of probability. This could be due to instructional neglect of this viewpoint or linguistic problems. The paper concludes by suggesting some implications for further research.
This article has been published in the journal: International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education. ©2006 International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education. Used with Permission.
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