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Developing students’ reasoning about samples and sampling variability as a path to expert statistical thinking

Abstract

This paper describes the importance of developing students’ reasoning about samples and sampling variability as a foundation for statistical thinking. Research on expert–novice thinking as well as statistical thinking is reviewed and compared. A case is made that statistical thinking is a type of expert thinking, and as such, research comparing novice and expert thinking can inform the research on developing statistical thinking in students. It is also posited that developing students’ informal inferential reasoning, akin to novice thinking, can help build the foundations of experts’ statistical thinking.

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Correspondence to Andrew Zieffler.

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Garfield, J., Le, L., Zieffler, A. et al. Developing students’ reasoning about samples and sampling variability as a path to expert statistical thinking. Educ Stud Math 88, 327–342 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10649-014-9541-7

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Keywords

  • Statistical thinking
  • Expert and novice thinking
  • Sampling variability
  • Informal statistical inference
  • Informal inferential reasoning