• This communication describes the first results obtained from an exploratory study carried out with primary-school teachers about their conceptions with respect to a fundamental aspect of probabilistic knowledge: The notion of the concept of randomness. The results obtained indicate the partial and poorly formed character of their conceptions and indicate the necessity of developing specific training on probabilistic knowledge, its learning and teaching, based on the aforementioned conceptions.

  • Data handling has recently been introduced in the United Kingdom as a major component of the mainstream school mathematics curriculum. A survey of teachers in Northern Ireland showed that they are generally not well prepared to teach new material, particularly probability.

  • Subjects for this study were graduate students enrolled in inferential statistics classes at a midwestern university. The study was conducted to determine the importance of spatial ability, attitudes toward mathematics, mathematical background, masculinity-femininity of interest pattern, attitudes toward feminist issues, student sex, and verbal and mathematical ability as predictors of achievement in applied statistics courses for male and female students. Regression analyses were performed comparing full versus restricted models. The amount of variance in statistics achievement accounted for in the full model which included all the previously mentioned sets of predictor variables was .60. The most important predictor variable set was attitudes toward feminist issues (reduction in R-sqr = .1861). Sex-related differences were found on all variable sets except verbal and mathematical ability.

  • Courseware (CW) development and its use in the classroom is an issue in Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI). Whatever the modes of CAI, few CW are adequate and effective in teaching particular topics of school mathematics, and they should be tested properly and improved continuously. In the present study, both the process of CW development for teaching some probability concepts to eighth grade students and its effective use in the classroom are described. The results of this study is given briefly.

  • According to the representativeness heuristic, the probability that an element is an exemplar of a given class is judged to be high to the extent that the element is representative of the class with respect to its salient features. In three experiments involving situations previously called upon in support of representativeness theory, questionnaire responses from 265 university students demonstrated systematic biases that deviated sharply from the obvious predictions of the theory. One such bias, the students' misinterpretation of proportion information as absolute-number information, is comparable to Piaget's concrete operations. The implications of representativeness theory are discussed in terms of the theory's relationship to concrete thinking, the importance of task characterisitcs, and the difficulty of a priori specification of the salient features with respect to which representativenss is assessed.

  • This talk is to discuss the mental images that certain students appear to articulate while they are engaged in posing and solving problems involving means, medians and modes.

  • In this study, a number of learner variables that are related to mathematics achievement in actual learning situations were examined. The dynamic model of the learning process as developed by Boekaerts was taken as a starting point. Both trait-like self-referenced cognitions (viz., academic self-concept of mathematics ability, goal orientations, and attribution style) and situation-specific variables were included. In a group of 8th graders (ages 11-12; N=186), marked differences between boys and girls on a mathematics test were found. These differences were parallelled by differences in both trait-like self-referenced cognitions and task-specific appraisals. It is concluded that boys experience learning situations where they are confronted with a mathematics test in a more positive way than girls do.

  • This presentation reports the results of a study concerned with the issue of cooperative testing. Cooperative testing is defined as small group discussion of test items on the day of the exam and it's been proposed as a logical extension of cooperative learning. The results of the study showed that: (1) students' attitudes toward cooperative testing became more positive after each test administration, (2) self-reported study time varied among students, (3) students' perceptions of freeloading increased across test administrations, (4) the cooperative testing sections appeared to experience slightly less test anxiety than did the traditional testing section, and (5) testing condition did not appear to affect retention of course material.

  • There have been few studies which presented specific cooperative learning techniques for statistics classes (Garfield, 1993; Dietz, 1993; Jones, 1991), but there is a paucity of these. Moreover, not all of the listed studies attempted to quantitatively evaluate effects (academic or otherwise) of the cooperative strategies by using a comparison group. Therefore, the present study piloted some additional cooperative strategies in order to share their content and their strengths and weaknesses among the community of statistics educators. Moreover, the study examined effects of cooperative learning on achievement and attitude by comparing those who received cooperative education with a control group. Finally, the study provided an alternative course opportunity for students. Not everyone has the same learning style and cooperative learning can be a valuable tool for supporting learning by diverse students.

  • This is a descriptive correlational study on students enrolled in a compulsory course in the Teacher Education Program at the Faculty of Educational Studies. Three categories of variables were investigated, namely, the independent variables--learning styles, the variable of prime interest--performance as the dependent variable and several control variables such as gender, age, and program. A moderate positive bivariate relationship existed between learning style and performance or also referred to as cognitive skills of teacher education students.