Journal Article

  • There is a growing movement to introduce elements of statistics and probability into the secondary and even the elementary school curriculum, as part of basic literacy in mathematics. The literature reviewed in this paper indicates a need for collaborative, cross-disciplinary research on how students come to think correctly about probability and statistics.

  • We examined the motivational patterns and self-regulatory activities of 119 students in introductory statistics. Toward the end of the course subjects were given a questionnaire which assessed perceived ability, goal orientation (learning and performance), valuing of statistics (intrinsic and extrinsic), and the extent to which subjects used self-regulatory activities such as goal-setting, self-monitoring, and task-appropriate cognitive strategies. Predictions from Dweck's goal orientation theory were tested. The findings were generally consistent with the theoretical predictions; however, the predicted interaction of dominant goal orientation and perceived ability failed to emerge.

  • An active group of researchers at the university of Granada, Spain has been involved in several funded projects involving statistical education which are described in this article.

  • This article describes different researchers based in Israel, and their methods.

  • This article discusses two recently funded projects which combine research and teacher preparation by integrating research studies of students and teachers with development of teacher training programs.

  • My personal dissatisfaction with the grounds I had for believing that software which I had produced was efficacious in developing probabilistic understanding led to a small research investigation which is reported in this paper.

  • This article illustrates basic statistical techniques for studying coincidences.

  • This study involves an experiment that guages the reaction of students in a university 100 level statistics course. The experimental group was randomly assigned to work with Minitab program (analysis and graphing) and to do normal course work. The control group just did the course work. Questionnaires measuring students' attitude towards computers were given to both groups at the beginning and end of term. Results indicate that students thought computers were useful before and after the course. Students who had actually used the computers were more inclined to strongly agree. It is important that computer use is taught properly otherwise students will become frustrated. Differences between final exam scores of the two groups were not significant (computer group was slightly higher). Volunteers (who participated in either group for the experiment) did have better final grades than students who did not participate. Computer-use group students may have had better marks due simply to the greater exposure with the material and instructors. In conclusion, students can benefit from the use of a statistical data analysis package. However, much of the benefit may derive from the students' increased understanding of the computer system rather than the analysis package itself. Students stated that the use of a computing package did not increase their understanding of statistics but was useful as an ancillary to the statistics course.

  • This paper identifies a number of key questions concerning children's understanding of probability.

  • In Experiment 1, subjects estimated a) the mean of a random sample of ten scores consisting of nine unknown scores and a known score that was divergent from the population mean; and b) the mean of the nine unknown scores. The modal answer (about 40% of the responses) for both sample means was the population mean. The results extend the work of Tversky and Kahneman by demonstrating that subjects hold a passive, descriptive view of random sampling rather than an active balancing model. This result was explored further in in-depth interviews, wherein subjects solved the problem while explaining their reasoning. The interview data replicated Experiment 1 and further showed (a) that subjects' solutions were fairly stable-- when presented with alternative solutions including the correct one, few subjects changed their answer; (b) little evidence of a balancing mechanism; and (c) that acceptance of both means as 400 is largely a result of the perceived unpredictability of "random samples."