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Research on Teaching and Learning Probability

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  • Open Access
  • © 2016

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  • Provides a comprehensive overview of the history of teaching and learning probability
  • Demonstrates the potential of students’ intuitions and difficulties as a field of research
  • Shows that teachers need more, higher-quality education to be equipped to teach probability
  • Includes a research agenda for the future

Part of the book series: ICME-13 Topical Surveys (ICME13TS)

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About this book

This book summarizes the vast amount of research related to teaching and learning probability that has been conducted for more than 50 years in a variety of disciplines. It begins with a synthesis of the most important probability interpretations throughout history: intuitive, classical, frequentist, subjective, logical propensity and axiomatic views. It discusses their possible applications, philosophical problems, as well as their potential and the level of interest they enjoy at different educational levels. Next, the book describes the main features of probabilistic thinking and reasoning, including the contrast to classical logic, probability language features, the role of intuitions, as well as paradoxes and the relevance of modeling. It presents an analysis of the differences between conditioning and causation, the variability expression in data as a sum of random and causal variations, as well as those of probabilistic versus statistical thinking. This is followed by an analysis of probability’s role and main presence in school curricula and an outline of the central expectations in recent curricular guidelines at the primary, secondary and high school level in several countries. This book classifies and discusses in detail the three different research periods on students’ and people’s intuitions and difficulties concerning probability: early research focused on cognitive development, a period of heuristics and biases programs, and the current period marked by a multitude of foci, approaches and theoretical frameworks.

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Table of contents (1 chapter)


“The advertised purpose of the booklets was to update readers on recent developments in mathematics education. … this booklet might best be used to give researchers an overview of the field of research into the nature of probability and research on learning and teaching it. It could also be useful to a graduate student looking for a topic for a disseration.” (Robert W. Hayden, MAA Reviews,, February, 2017)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Campus de Cartuja, Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación, Granada, Spain

    Carmen Batanero

  • College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

    Egan J. Chernoff

  • Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Ludwigsburg University of Education, Ludwigsburg, Germany

    Joachim Engel

  • Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics , North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC, USA

    Hollylynne S. Lee

  • Departamento de Matemática Educativa. Cinvestav-IPN., Av. Instituto Politécnico Nacional 2508, Distrito Federal, Mexico

    Ernesto Sánchez

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Research on Teaching and Learning Probability

  • Authors: Carmen Batanero, Egan J. Chernoff, Joachim Engel, Hollylynne S. Lee, Ernesto Sánchez

  • Series Title: ICME-13 Topical Surveys

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: � The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-31624-6Published: 04 August 2016

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-31625-3Published: 12 July 2016

  • Series ISSN: 2366-5947

  • Series E-ISSN: 2366-5955

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: VII, 33

  • Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Mathematics Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, Learning & Instruction

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