Pre-service primary school teachers’ knowledge of informal statistical inference

Arjen de Vetten, Judith Schoonenboom, Ronald Keijzer, Bert van Oers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The ability to reason inferentially is increasingly important in today’s society. It is hypothesized here that engaging primary school students in informal statistical reasoning (ISI), defined as making generalizations without the use of formal statistical tests, will help them acquire the foundations for inferential and statistical thinking. Teachers who engage students in ISI need to have good content knowledge of ISI (ISI-CK). However, little is known about the ISI-CK of primary education pre-service teachers. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to describe this knowledge by surveying 722 first-year pre-service teachers from seven teacher colleges across the Netherlands. The survey consisted of five tasks using open-ended questions and true/false statements. The descriptive analysis showed that most respondents understood that descriptive statistics that take the global shape of the distribution into account can be used as arguments within ISI. Although a majority agreed that random sampling is a valid sampling method, distributed sampling was the preferred strategy for selecting a sample. Moreover, when asked to make a generalization beyond the data, most pre-service teachers only described the data and did not appear to understand that a representative sample can be used to make inferences about a population. These findings suggest that it may be useful if statistics education for pre-service teachers places more emphasis on sampling and inference, thereby prompting pre-service teachers to engage in ISI.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Mathematics Teacher Education
Volume2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2018

Fingerprint

Teacher Knowledge
primary school teacher
Statistical Inference
Pre-service Teachers
Reasoning
teacher
education statistics
teachers' college
Preservice Teacher Education
statistical test
Statistics Education
primary education
descriptive statistics
primary school
Random Sampling
Sampling Methods
Netherlands
Statistical test
student
ability

Keywords

  • Informal inferential reasoning
  • Informal statistical inference
  • Initial teacher education
  • Primary education
  • Samples and sampling
  • Statistics education

Cite this

de Vetten, Arjen ; Schoonenboom, Judith ; Keijzer, Ronald ; van Oers, Bert. / Pre-service primary school teachers’ knowledge of informal statistical inference. In: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education. 2018 ; Vol. 2018. pp. 1-23.
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Pre-service primary school teachers’ knowledge of informal statistical inference. / de Vetten, Arjen; Schoonenboom, Judith; Keijzer, Ronald; van Oers, Bert.

In: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, Vol. 2018, 14.03.2018, p. 1-23.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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