Exploring pre-service teachers' understanding of statistical variation: Implications for teaching and research
Sharma, S. (2007). Exploring pre-service teachers' understanding of statistical variation: Implications for teaching and research. Australian Senior Mathematics Journal, 21(2), 31-43.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/3253
Concerns about the importance of variation in statistics education and a lack of research in this topic led to a preliminary study which explored pre-service teachers’ ideas in this area. The teachers completed a written questionnaire about variation in sampling and distribution contexts. Responses were categorised in relation to a framework that identified levels of statistical thinking. The results suggest that while many of the students appeared to acknowledge variation, they were not able to provide adequate explanations. Although the pre-service teachers have had more real-life experiences involving statistics and have been involved in the study of statistical concepts at secondary school level, they still demonstrated the same misconceptions as those of younger students reported in research literature. While more students showed competence on the sampling question, they were less competent on the distribution task. This could be due to task format or contextual issues. The paper concludes by suggesting some implications for further research and teaching.
This article has been published in the journal: Australian Senior Mathematics Journal. Used with permission.
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