Watson, J., Fitzallen, N., Fielding-Wells, J. & Madden, S. (2018). The practice of statistics. D. Ben-Zvi, K. Makar, J. Garfield. International handbook of research in statistics education 105-137. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-66195-7_4
This chapter presents an overview of the Practice of Statistics focusing mainly on research at the school level. After introducing several frameworks for the practice, research is summarized in relation to posing and refining statistical questions for investigation, to planning for and collecting appropriate data, to analyzing data through visual representations, to analyzing data by summarizing them with specific measures, and to making decisions acknowledging uncertainty. The importance of combining these stages through complete investigations is then stressed both in terms of student learning and of the needs of teachers for implementation. The need for occasional backtracking is also acknowledged, and more research in relation to complete investigations is seen as a priority. Having considered the Practice of Statistics as an active engagement by learners, the chapter reviews presentations of the Big Ideas underlying the practice, with a call for research linking classroom investigations with the fundamental understanding of the Big Ideas. The chapter ends with a consideration of the place of statistical literacy in relation to the Practice of Statistics and the question of the responsibility of the school curriculum to provide understanding and proficiency in both.
Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education
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