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Statistics in the early years is often limited to the construction and ‘reading’ of simple data representations as distinct from employing statistical inquiries that engage students with data in more authentic and meaningful contexts. One of the challenges of engaging with data inquiries is the extent to which students struggle with the lack of structure and direction, thus requiring additional support, or scaffolding. This chapter details the framework used for introducing statistical inquiry to young students and then provides insights that emerged from observation and analysis of a class of 5–6 year olds engaged in their own data investigation to illustrate. The findings suggest that considerable teacher scaffolding is required to progress students through inquiries and this was largely achieved through questioning employed to focus students on both the inquiry process and the statistical content to be addressed.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Book Chapter

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