High school students interpreting tables and graphs: Implications for research
Sharma, S.V. (2006). High school students interpreting tables and graphs: Implications for research. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 4(2), 241-268.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4786
Concerns about students’ difficulties in statistical reasoning led to a study which explored form five (14- to 16-year-olds) students’ ideas in this area. The study focussed on descriptive statistics, graphical representations, and probability. This paper presents and discusses the ways in which students made sense of information in graphical representations (tables and bar graph) obtained from the individual interviews. The findings revealed that many of the students used strategies based on prior experiences (everyday and school) and intuitive strategies. From the analysis, I identified a fourcategory rubric for classifying students’ responses. While the results of the study confirm a number of findings of other researchers, the findings go beyond those discussed in the literature. While students could read and compare data presented in a bar graph, they were less competent at reading tables. This could be due to instructional neglect of these concepts or linguistic and contextual problems. The paper concludes by suggesting some implications for researchers.
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