EXPLORINg Beginning
Inference with

**Novice Grade 7 Students**

JANE M. WATSON

University of Tasmania

Jane.Watson@utas.edu.au

ABSTRACT

This study documented efforts to
facilitate ideas of beginning inference in novice grade 7 students. A design
experiment allowed modified teaching opportunities in light of observation of
components of a framework adapted from that developed by Pfannkuch for teaching
informal inference with box plots. Box plots were replaced by hat plots, a
feature available with the software TinkerPlots^{TM}.
Data in TinkerPlots files were analyzed
on four occasions and observed responses to tasks were categorized using a
hierarchical model. The observed outcomes provided evidence of change in
students’ appreciation of beginning inference over the four sessions. Suggestions
for change are made for the use of the framework in association with the
intervention and the software to enhance understanding of beginning inference.

Keywords: Statistics
education research; Hat plots; Informal inference; Middle school students; TinkerPlots

**__________________________**

*Statistics Education Research
Journal, 7(2), 59-83, http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/serj*

*Ó** International
Association for Statistical Education (IASE/ISI), November, 2008*

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JANE M. WATSON

Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania

Private Bag 66

Hobart, Tasmania 7001

Australia