, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 409–423 | Cite as

Chance by design: devising an introductory probability module for implementation at scale in English early-secondary education

  • Kenneth Ruthven
  • Riikka Hofmann
Original Article


This paper reports the design of an introductory probability module intended for implementation at scale within the English educational system. It forms part of the Effecting Principled Improvement in STEM Education (epiSTEMe) programme of redesign research aimed at improving the teaching and learning of mathematics and science at early-secondary level. The approach taken by the module is informed by the research literatures on effective teaching (with a particular emphasis on blending teaching components and exploiting dialogic discussion) and probabilistic thinking (with a particular emphasis on triangulating epistemic approaches and deconstructing fallacious reasoning). Recognising that scalable innovation must take account of the current state and established norms of the educational system, module development was informed by such considerations. Advice and feedback from classroom teachers, as well as observation and recording of their lesson implementations, provided a basis for assessing the viability of proposed features of the module, and the adaptation required of teachers, so that guidance materials and professional development could be framed appropriately.


Design research Dialogic teaching Early-secondary school England Improvement at scale Pedagogical design Teaching probability 



Thanks are due to the Economic and Social Research Council which provided funding for the epiSTEMe project (RES-179-25-0003), to our colleagues in the epiSTEMe research team—Christine Howe, Stefanie Luthman, Neil Mercer, Fran Riga and Keith Taber—and to the teachers who generously volunteered to review and trial versions of this module.


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Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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