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Research

  • The purpose of this paper is to investigate gender differences in achievement in statistics, making use of the Population A data of the Second International Mathematics Study (SIMS) conducted by the International Association for the evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). In IEA terms, Population A means all the students in the grade in which most students attain the age of 13.0 to 13.11 years by the middle of the school year.

  • Our research looks at whether preferences in question choice, and differences in achievement, in Mathematics with Statistics papers are related to gender.

  • This research aims to replicate the study by Forbes (1988) who investigated gender differences in attainment in a Scholarship examination in mathematics. There are three major differences between this study and hers. First, this research is based on a mainstream Advanced Level examination paper rather than a Scholarship paper. Second, the study aims to discover whether the results found in New Zealand apply to pupils in Britain. Third, the examination paper includes questions on mechanics, which did not appear in the New Zealand examination, as well as statistics and pure mathematics. Following Forbes, the initial hypotheses are that girls and boys will perform equally well on some, at least, of the pure mathematics questions. There is also the opportunity to look for gender differences in attainment in mechanics questions.

  • This paper presents some of the salient features of that particular experiment which involved students of the FA2 Statistics class at Kinnaird College during the academic year 1988-1989. The experiment seems to have been successful, and it appears that if such an exercise is made an integral part of the teaching of statistics at the higher secondary/intermediate level, it may prove to be an effective means not only of consolidating in the students' minds some of the basic concepts of statistics, but also of promoting in the students self-confidence, self-expression, and the capability for teamwork.

  • In the secondary schools, statistics, above other branches of mathematics, is proving attractive to female students. What happens then when this substantial proportion of young women come to university - do they continue to study statistics and do they succeed at it?

  • The purpose of this article is: 1) to consider the value of statistics in the secondary school curriculum; 2) to present evidence assessing the current levels of preparation in statistics with which students enter college; and 3) to determine, through statistical analysis, factors that may be associated with the secondary school preparation level of students in statistics.

  • The NCTM "Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics" (1989) reflect the current movement to introduce probability and statistics in the precollege curriculum. These standards include topics and principles for instruction in probability and statistics which are included in the Quantitative Literacy Project (QLP) curriculum materials. This paper presents results of a survey which explored the success of the QLP materials in terms of student reactions to instruction in probability and statistics.

  • This investigation is a pilot study into the level of statistical graphic literacy to be found amongst a group of lower sixth form female students.

  • A model of informal reasoning under conditions of uncertainty, the outcome approach, was developed to account for the non-normative responses of a subset of the 16 undergraduates who were interviewed. For individuals who reason according to the outcome approach, the goal in questions of uncertainty is to predict the outcome of an individual trial. Their predictions take the form of yes/no decisions of whether an outcome will occur on a particular trial. These predictions are then evaluated as having been either "right" or "wrong". Additionally, their predictions are often based on a deterministic model of the situation. In follow-up interviews using a different set of problems, responses of outcome-oriented subjects were predicted. In one problem, subjects' responses were at variance both with normative interpretations of probability and with the "representativeness heuristic". While the outcome approach is inconsistent with formal theories of probability, its components are logically consistent and reasonable in the context of everyday decision-making.

  • The validity of the Statistics Attitude Survey (SAS) was further examined in the present study. Students were assessed on a number of pretest and posttest cognitive and non-cognitive variables, including the SAS. SAS scores were found to be significantly related to such cognitive variables as basic mathematics skills, statistics preknowledge, and course grades. Non-cognitive factors with which SAS was significantly correlated were sex, the degree to which students indicated that they had wanted to take the course and that they were glad they had taken the course, number of previous mathematics courses completed, the status of a course being required or elective, calculator attitudes, and course and instructor evaluations. In addition, SAS scores showed a significant positive change from the beginning to the end of the course.

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