The Challenge of Preparing Preservice Teachers to Teach Informal Inferential Reasoning

 

Aisling M. Leavy

Mary Immaculate College

aisling.leavy@mic.ul.ie

 

ABSTRACT

 

There is growing recognition of the importance of developing young students’ informal inferential reasoning (IIR). This focus on informal inference in school statistics has implications for teacher education. This study reports on 26 preservice teachers utilizing Lesson Study to support a focus on the teaching of IIR in primary classrooms. Participants demonstrated proficiency reasoning about the elements fundamental to informal inferential reasoning but had difficulties developing pedagogical contexts to advance primary students’ informal inferential reasoning. Specifically, issues emerged relating to data type, an excessive focus on procedures, locating opportunities for IIR, and a lack of justification and evidence-based reading. Focusing on the lesson as the unit of analysis combined with classroom-based inquiry supported the development of statistical and pedagogical knowledge.

 

Keywords: Statistics education research; Teacher education; Teacher knowledge

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Statistics Education Research Journal, 9(1), 46-67, http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/serj

Ó International Association for Statistical Education (IASE/ISI), May, 2010

 

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Aisling M. Leavy

Department of Language and Mathematics Education

R124 Mary Immaculate College

South Circular Road

Limerick, Ireland

061 204 978