PRESERVICE ELEMENTARY TEACHERS AND THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROBABILITY
Metropolitan State College of Denver
This study examined how preservice elementary teachers think about situations involving probability. Twenty-four preservice elementary teachers who had not yet studied probability as part of their preservice elementary mathematics coursework were interviewed using a task-based interview. The participants’ responses showed a wide variety of misconceptions about the meaning of probability. In particular, when they were asked to think about the probability of an irregularly shaped object, many participants had misconceptions about the classical and frequentist interpretations of probability. These findings suggest that instruction for preservice elementary teachers should address the meaning of probability, including the subjective, classical, and frequentist interpretations of probability.
Keywords: Statistics education research; Preservice teacher; Teacher education
Statistics Education Research Journal, 10(2), 27-47, http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/serj
(c) International Association for Statistical Education (IASE/ISI), November, 2011
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Metropolitan State College of Denver
Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Campus Box 38, P.O. Box 173362
Denver, CO 80217