ELEMENTARY PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS’ CONCEPTIONS

OF VARIATION IN A PROBABILITY CONTEXT

 

DANIEL CANADA

Eastern Washington University

dcanada@mail.ewu.edu

 

ABSTRACT

 

While other research has begun to contribute to our understanding of how pre-college students reason about variation, little has been published regarding pre-service teachers’ statistical conceptions. This paper summarizes a framework useful in examining elementary pre-service teachers’ conceptions of variation, and investigates the question of how a class of pre-service teachers’ responses concerning variation in a probability context compare from before to after class interventions. The interventions comprised hands-on activities, computer simulations, and discussions that provided multiple opportunities to attend to variation. Results showed that there was overall class improvement regarding what subjects expected and why, in that more responses after the interventions included appropriate balancing of proportional thinking along with an appreciation of variation in expressing what was likely or probable.

 

Keywords: Statistics Education Research; Teacher Education; Variation; Probability

 

 

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Statistics Education Research Journal, 5(1), 36-63, http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/serj

Ó International Association for Statistical Education (IASE/ISI), May, 2006

 

 

 

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DANIEL L. CANADA

Eastern Washington University

203 Kingston Hall

Cheney, WA 99004

USA