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A Cross-Cultural Study of the Connection Between Students' Attitudes Toward Statistics and the Use of Constructivist Strategies in the Course

Mvududu, N.
Journal of Statistics Education

This study investigated the relationship between a constructivist learning environment and students' attitudes toward statistics. The Constructivist Learning Environment Survey (CLES) and the Attitude Toward Statistics scale (ATS) were used to measure the environment and attitudes respectively. Participants were undergraduate students of an introductory college statistics course. They were drawn from Seattle Pacific University in the US and the University of Zimbabwe.<br>The study had two components. One component addressed hypotheses examining potential differences between groups and the other explored relationships between variables. The environment was not manipulated and the data was collected from courses that already existed in the form studied. For this reason, the overall design of the study had causal comparative and correlational elements. A constructivist learning environment was found to be significantly related to students' attitude toward statistics. Furthermore, there were significant differences between the groups based on location.<br>The study examined the similarities and differences in perceptions and attitudes of students from two very different learning milieus. Cross-cultural comparisons have the potential to generate new insights into statistical pedagogy and the role noncognitive socio cultural variables play in teaching statistics to college-age students.