Although reasoning about samples and sampling is fundamental to the legitimate practice of statistics, it often receives little attention in the school curriculum. This may be related to the lack of numerical calculations-predominant in the mathematics curriculum-and the descriptive nature of the material associated with the topic. This chapter will extend previous research on students' reasoning about samples by considering longitudinal interviews with 38 students 3 or 4 years after they first discussed their understanding of what a sample was, how samples should be collected, and the representing power of a sample based on its size. Of the six categories of response observed at the time of the initial interviews, all were confirmed after 3 or 4 years, and one additional preliminary level was observed.
- Prof Dev