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

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## Abstract

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.

## Keywords

Statistical model Statistical modeling Model comparison Informal statistical inference## Notes

### Acknowledgements

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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