This article discusses five papers focused on "Research on Reasoning about Variation and Variability", by Hammerman and Rubin, Ben-Zvi, Bakker, Reading, and Gould, which appeared in a special issue of the Statistics Education Research Journal (No. 3(2) November 2004). Three issues emerged from these papers. First, there is a link between the types of tools that students use and the type of reasoning about variation that is observed. Second, students' reasoning about variation is interconnected to all parts of the statistical investigation cycle. Third, learning to reason about variation with tools and to understand phenomena are two elements that should be reflected in teaching. The discussion points to the need to expand instruction to include both exploratory data analysis and classical inference approaches and points to directions for future research.
- Prof Dev