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Students’ construction and use of statistical models: a socio-critical perspective


This paper addresses how students explore, construct, validate and use statistical models when facing situations designed from a socio-critical perspective. The case study used is a statistics lesson designed by a statistics teacher and a researcher. The lesson centers on nutritional information and was implemented in a 7th-grade classroom at a public school in a Northwest Colombian city. In small groups, students gathered their own data, and subsequently organized and analyzed the data, and presented their findings to the class. The main sources of data were students’ discourse in the classroom, students’ artifacts and the researcher’s journal. The findings describe a route in which students explore, construct, use, and validate their models. The results elaborate the technological and the reflective knowledge that took place in the model building activity.

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Fig. 1


  1. The video is promoted by a private organization and it is available in the link

  2. Names are pseudonyms to protect the identity of participants under Colombian research law.


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This research was carried out with financial support of Universidad de Antioquia Research Committee—CODI and Colciencias research Grant 438-2017. Special thanks to the reviewers for their meaningful and insightful suggestions in previous versions of this paper. Likewise, special thanks to Mónica Parra-Zapata for her priceless support in the data collection process, to Kenneth Hall and Jill Fielding-Wells for their invaluable support with helpful comments in the editing and to the incredible students for their openness and availability to participate in the study.

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Correspondence to Lucía Zapata-Cardona.



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Zapata-Cardona, L. Students’ construction and use of statistical models: a socio-critical perspective. ZDM Mathematics Education 50, 1213–1222 (2018).

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  • Socio-critical perspective of modelling
  • Statistical models
  • Statistics education