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Elementary preservice teachers’ reasoning about statistical modeling in a civic statistics context

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Elements of statistical modeling can be implemented already in primary school. A prerequisite for this approach is that teachers are well-educated in this domain. Content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and (pedagogical) content related technological knowledge are core components of teacher education. We designed a course for elementary preservice teachers with regard to developing statistical thinking including the mentioned knowledge facets. The course includes exploring data and modeling and simulating chance experiments with TinkerPlots. We use the ‘data factory metaphor’ in fictive contexts and in contexts stemming from civic statistics for supporting the idea of modeling. We interviewed four participants of the course to assess and analyze their reasoning. We analyze how they model a given civic statistics contextual problem using the TinkerPlots sampler and how they evaluate their model with regard to a civic statistics context (the situation of hospitals in Germany).

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Many thanks go to Cliff Konold for proofreading and for providing very helpful comments on previous versions of this paper. We also thank the three anonymous reviewers for providing constructive feedback and helpful suggestions for revising the paper.

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Correspondence to Rolf Biehler.

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Biehler, R., Frischemeier, D. & Podworny, S. Elementary preservice teachers’ reasoning about statistical modeling in a civic statistics context. ZDM Mathematics Education 50, 1237–1251 (2018).

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  • Probability simulation and modeling
  • Digital tools for learning
  • Teacher education
  • Context knowledge