The influence of the mathematics class on middle school students' interest for statistical literacy

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Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMERGA 33
Subtitle of host publicationShaping the future of Mathematics Education
EditorsB Kissane L Sparrow, C Hurst C Hurst
Place of PublicationFremantle WA
PublisherMathematics Education Research Group of Australasia
Pages133-138
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781920846251
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventAnnual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia - Fremantle, WA
Duration: 03 Jul 201007 Jul 2010

Conference

ConferenceAnnual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia
Period03/07/1007/07/10

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