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Uncovering student statistical competences via new interfaces.

Ridgway, J. and McCusker, S. and Nicholson, J. (2004) 'Uncovering student statistical competences via new interfaces.', International Association for Statistical Education Roundtable. Lund, Sweden, 28 June-3 July 2004.


The paper reviews the nature of statistics in the UK National Curriculum. While there is great opportunity for statistics to inform thinking in a range of disciplines, there is little coherence in the planning of activities for children. Formal assessment of statistical ability focuses on procedural knowledge, applied to univariate and bivariate problems. These provisions are inadequate for informed citizenship. We report work on World Class Tests (WCT), where students aged 9 and 13 years are presented with both paper-based and IT-based problem solving tasks in mathematics and science. Many of these tasks require students to work with three or more variables, often non-linearly related to each other. Students perform rather well on these tasks. Tasks are shown, together with performance data disaggregated by school and sex. Features of the displays that make them well suited to the exploration of complex patterns are discussed, and our design principles are described. Our current activities set out to embed test items in curriculum materials suitable for use in mathematics and science classrooms. A good grounding in handling complex data is essential for informed citizenship. We are in the process of creating methods to help students develop appropriate skills.

Item Type:Conference item (Paper)
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Record Created:08 Feb 2007
Last Modified:01 Oct 2010 13:27

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