Students’ Informal Inference about the Binomial Distribution of “Bunny Hops”: A Dialogic Perspective

Sibel Kazak, Taro Fujita, and Rupert Wegerif

The study explores the development of 11-year-old students’ informal inference about random bunny hops through student talk and use of computer simulation tools. Our aim in this paper is to draw on dialogic theory to explain how students make shifts in perspective, from intuition-based reasoning to more powerful, formal ways of using probabilistic ideas. Findings from the study suggest that dialogic talk facilitated students’ reasoning as it was supported by the use of simulation tools available in the software. It appears that the interaction of using simulation tools, talk between students, and teacher prompts helps students develop their understanding of probabilistic ideas in the context of making inferences about the distribution of random bunny hops.