This paper explores the differences between middle school students' interest for the statistical literacy acquired in mathematics classes, their interest for mathematics in general, and their interest for the statistical literacy acquired in other school subjects. Based on the responses of a sample of 425 Australian middle school students, it appears that such students have no more interest for the statistical literacy in mathematics classes than the mathematics that they encounter. The same students, however, have more interest for statistical literacy when it is encountered outside of mathematics classes. Follow up interviews with 17 students are used to explore the reasons for these differences. The results suggest that students' interest for statistical literacy is strongly associated with the perceived relevance of the context in which the statistics is embedded. Moreover, a number of students dislike the inherent uncertainty that is associated with statistics, preferring instead problems with clear solutions.
|Title of host publication||MERGA 33|
|Subtitle of host publication||Shaping the future of Mathematics Education|
|Editors||B Kissane L Sparrow, C Hurst C Hurst|
|Place of Publication||Fremantle WA|
|Publisher||Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
|Event||Annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia - Fremantle, WA|
Duration: 03 Jul 2010 → 07 Jul 2010
|Conference||Annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia|
|Period||03/07/10 → 07/07/10|
Carmichael, C. (2010). The influence of the mathematics class on middle school students' interest for statistical literacy. In B. K. L. Sparrow, & C. H. C. Hurst (Eds.), MERGA 33: Shaping the future of Mathematics Education (pp. 133-138). Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia.