Developing PK-12 Preservice Teachers' Skills for Understanding Data-Driven Instruction Through Inquiry Learning

Arthur Louis Odom & Clare Valerie Bell

This article offers a description of how empirical experiences through the use of procedural knowledge can serve as the stage for the development of hypothetical concepts using the learning cycle, an inquiry teaching and learning method with a long history in science education. The learning cycle brings a unique epistemology by way of using procedural knowledge (“knowing how”) to enhance construction of declarative knowledge (“knowing that”). The goal of the learning experience was to use the learning cycle to explore “high tech” and “low tech” approaches to concept development within the context of statistics. After experiencing both, students recognized the value of high and low tech approaches to instruction. Given that statistical literacy is essential for engaging in PK-12 education, we argue that providing experiences that help preservice teachers understand statistical concepts while modeling effective pedagogical practices will help prepare them for planning instruction and teaching statistics concepts in PK-12 classrooms. This article provides an example of how to meaningfully incorporate statistics into a nonstatistics course for preservice teachers. Empirical experiences prior to introduction of mathematical and hypothetical concepts are necessary pedagogical practice.