Concern about students' difficuluities in statistical reasoning led to a study which explored year 11 (14 to 16 year-olds) students' ideas in this area. The study focussed on sampling variability, probability, descriptive statistics and graphical representations.
This paper presents and discusses the ways in which students made sense of sampling variability constructs obtained from the individual interviews. The findings revealed that many of the students used strategies based on beliefs, prior experiences and intuitive strategies.
While students showed competence with probability, descritptive statistics and graphical representations tasks, they were less competent on tasks involving sampling variability. This could be due to instructional neglect of this concept or linguistic problems.
The paper concludes by suggesting some implications for further reseach.
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