Scientific Program > Topic 2 > Session 2C >
Presentation 2C3. Data Analysis, Concepts of Variable, and Correlation in a High School Statistics Course

Patrick W. Thompson (USA)


Presentation Abstract

The concept of statistical variable is fundamental to data analysis and is one of the most difficult concepts for students to grasp. It involves aspects of measurement, logic, and set theory, and has a close relationship with concepts of function. But the stochastic nature of data complexifies these connections in ways we do not understand well. We investigated students' understandings of these ideas a 10-week teaching experiment involving nine 11th and 12th graders, eventually raising the issue of what it means for two variables to be associated and how one might determine which of two pairs of variables is more strongly associated. The analysis reported in this session will be of students' emerging understandings of "association between variables" as a variable.


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