Statistical reasoning may be defined as the way people reason with statistical ideas and make sense of statistical information. This involves making interpretations based on sets of data, representations of data, or statistical summaries of data. Much of statistical reasoning combines ideas about data and chance, which leads to making inferences and interpreting statistical results. Underlying this reasoning is a conceptual understanding of important ideas, such as distribution, center, spread, association, uncertainty, randomness, and sampling. This chapter begins by distinguishing reasoning from mathematical reasoning, and then outlines goals for students studying statistics. Challenges in assessing statistical reasoning are described and information is provided on a unique paper and pencil instrument, the Statistical Reasoning Assessment. The final section suggests ways teachers may help students develop sound statistical reasoning skills.
- Prof Dev