Aligning everyday and mathematical reasoning: The case of sampling assumptions


Book: 
Reflections on statistics: Learning, teaching, and assessment in grades K-12
Authors: 
Schwartz, D. L., Goldman, S. R., Vye, N. J., Barron, B. J., Cognitive & Technology Group at Vanderbilt
Editors: 
Lajoie, S. P.
Type: 
Category: 
Pages: 
233-273
Year: 
1998
Publisher: 
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Place: 
Mahwah, NJ
Abstract: 

In this chapter, we present results from three studies that examined and supported 5th- and 6th-grade children's evolving notions of sampling and statistical inference. Our primary finding has been that the context of a statistical problem exerts a profound influence on children's assumptions about the purpose and validity of a sample. A random sample in the context of drawing marbles, for example, is considered acceptable, whereas a random sample in the context of an opinion survey is not. In our design of instructional and assessment materials, we have tried to acknowledge and take advantage of the role that context plays in statistical understanding.