Scientific Program > Topic 6 > Session 6D >
Presentation 6D1. Addressing Cognitive and Situational Complexity in the Instruction and Assessment of Statistical Reasoning

Sharon J. Derry (USA)
Joel R. Levin (USA)
Rand J. Spiro (USA)


Presentation Abstract
The cognitive-theoretic classroom approaches we are studying are intended to develop students' abilities to reason flexibly with statistical concepts in the context of complex, real-world problem solving. We have studied the learning of middle school students and pre-service teachers taught with two types of instructional methods: (a) simulations of authentic professional activities requiring presentation and critique of statistical arguments about important societal issues; and (b) reflective discussions with critique of popular media presentations (e.g., movies) that embody complex statistical issues. For these studies we developed several interesting techniques for assessing students' growth in ability to reason with statistical evidence from everyday sources, which will be reported.

More recent experiments are investigating whether video-based instruction using computer-enhanced perceptual overlays can help accelerate students' acquisition of ability to reason expertly when statistical concepts interact in complex ways with scientific, ethical, and aesthetic themes. Our approach to video enhancement employs color, sound, and symbolic imagery to emphasize statistical themes and complex thematic interactions in movies and instructional videos representing complex, reality-based situations. Our talk will include a demonstration of this approach and discussion of several new assessment techniques we have devised to measure transfer of statistical reasoning conceptualized as cognitive flexibility.


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