STATSTALK (Studying the Development of Young Students' Conceptual Understanding in Statistics through Mediation by Technological Tools and Talk)

As people make decisions under the conditions of uncertainty, the knowledge of probability and statistics becomes of critical importance for ordinary citizens to make judgments and to make decisions on the basis of numerical information in their lives. Given the emphasis on promoting essential competences for the knowledge-based economy and society by the Europe 2020 Strategy vision, statistics is a key subject matter for engaging young people in science issues to become scientifically literate citizens and consumers of data-based information, and thus is increasingly becoming an important part of the school mathematics curricula.

Acknowledging the importance of statistical thinking and reasoning in this context, the proposed project aims at (1) developing young students’ conceptual understanding of statistical and probabilistic ideas within informal statistical inference, which seems to be neglected in the early grades of schooling, (2) investigating mediating roles of technological tools and children’s talk, and (3) making recommendations for practical educational contexts. By conducting classroom teaching experiments, we will examine the relationship between students’ talk together, their use of ICT tools and their development of conceptual understanding of key statistical and probabilistic ideas. The study draws from the research emerging from ICT in education, including the integration of ICT tools in mathematics education and promoting effective talk among students, to foster children’s conceptual understandings in statistics. This collaborative research will bring together academics with expertise in learning theories in education in relation to ICT and mathematics education. The study will significantly advance our understanding of how the interaction between tasks, students’ talk and technological tools work in helping students grasp key ideas in statistics. Dissemination of the research will contribute to enhancing the quality of education in Europe.

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