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Explaining Student Achievement: the Influence of Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Statistics

  • Rosemary CallinghamEmail author
  • Colin Carmichael
  • Jane M. Watson
Article

Abstract

Statistics is an increasingly important component of the mathematics curriculum. StatSmart was a project intended to influence middle-years students’ learning outcomes in statistics through the provision of appropriate professional learning opportunities and technology to teachers. Participating students in grade 5/6 to grade 9 undertook three tests, a pre-test, a post-test and a longitudinal retention test over a period of 2 years. Their teachers completed a survey that included items measuring pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for teaching statistics. Despite the development of valid instruments to measure both student and teacher content knowledge and teachers’ PCK, linking teachers’ knowledge directly to students’ learning outcomes has proved elusive. Multilevel modelling of results from 789 students for whom there were 3 completed tests and measures from their teachers indicated that students’ outcomes were influenced positively by their initial teacher’s PCK. Extended participation of teachers in the project also appeared to reduce negative effects of changing teachers.

Keywords

Middle years Pedagogical content knowledge Statistics Student achievement 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This project was funded by Australian Research Grant No. LP0669106 in collaboration with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Key Curriculum Press and The Baker Centre for School Mathematics, Prince Alfred College, Adelaide, South Australia.

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Copyright information

© Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosemary Callingham
    • 1
    Email author
  • Colin Carmichael
    • 2
  • Jane M. Watson
    • 3
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of TasmaniaLauncestonAustralia
  2. 2.School of EducationCharles Sturt UniversityAlburyAustralia
  3. 3.School of EducationUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

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