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Using "real-life" problems to prompt students to construct conceptual models for statistical reasoning


Book: 
The assessment challenge in statistics education
Authors: 
Lesh, R., Amit, M., & Schorr, R. Y.
Editors: 
Gal, I., & Garfield, J. B.
Type: 
Category: 
Pages: 
65-83
Year: 
1997
Publisher: 
IOS Press
Place: 
Amsterdam, Holland
Abstract: 

The purpose of this chapter is to examine a "model-eliciting activity", based on a "real-life" problem situation, in which students were provided with an opportunity to construct powerful ideas relating to data analysis and statistics, without explicitly being taught. Student results of this activity will be examined that reveal the somewhat surprising fact that children, even those who traditionally do not perform well in mathematics, can invent more powerful ideas relating to trends, averages, and graphical representations of data than their teacers ever anticipated. The student results shared in this chapter are not unique. In classrooms where we have piloted and refined problems (including the ones presented), one common observation is that many of the children who emerge as "most productive" are often those whose mathematical abilities had not been recognized or rewarded by their teachers in the past.

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