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Developing a statistical modeling framework to characterize Year 7 students’ reasoning


Some researchers advocate a statistical modeling approach to inference that draws on students’ intuitions about factors influencing phenomena and that requires students to build models. Such a modeling approach to inference became possible with the creation of TinkerPlots Sampler technology. However, little is known about what statistical modeling reasoning students need to acquire. Drawing and building on previous research, this study aims to uncover the statistical modeling reasoning students need to develop. A design-based research methodology employing Model Eliciting Activities was used. The focus of this paper is on two 11-year-old students as they engaged with a bag weight task using TinkerPlots. Findings indicate that these students seem to be developing the ability to build models, investigate and posit factors, consider variation and make decisions based on simulated data. From the analysis an initial statistical modeling framework is proposed. Implications of the findings are discussed.

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Correspondence to Maxine Pfannkuch.

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Patel, A., Pfannkuch, M. Developing a statistical modeling framework to characterize Year 7 students’ reasoning. ZDM Mathematics Education 50, 1197–1212 (2018).

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  • Statistics education
  • Middle school students
  • Statistical modeling reasoning
  • TinkerPlots
  • Model eliciting activities