, Volume 50, Issue 7, pp 1183–1196 | Cite as

The role of model comparison in young learners’ reasoning with statistical models and modeling

  • Michal DvirEmail author
  • Dani Ben-Zvi
Original Article


The goal of this study is to explore the role of model comparison, which is a key activity of young learners’ informal reasoning, with statistical models and modeling in the context of informal statistical inference. We suggest a framework to describe this reasoning (the RISM framework), and offer an illustrative case study of two-sixth graders showcasing its utility. In particular, we illustrate the benefit of untangling the informal modeling process into three separate, though not independent, modeling processes: modeling a conjecture, modeling data, and comparing them by means of a comparison model. This case study shows the possible progression of a comparison model, and its potential role as a catalyst for the development of the other two modeling processes. Finally, an expansion of our initial framework is discussed, highlighting the centrality of model comparisons.


Statistical model Statistical modeling Model comparison Informal statistical inference 



We thank the University of Haifa, the I-CORE Program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and the Israel Science Foundation Grant 1716/12 for supporting this research, as well as the Connections research team.


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Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LINKS I-CORE, Faculty of EducationThe University of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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