|Arthur Bakker (The Netherlands)||A.Bakker@fi.uu.nl|
|Educational software for learning statistical data analysis at the middle-school levels is fundamentally different than professional statistics software packages. In this paper, two types of educational tools are described: a route-type series of so-called Statistical Minitools (Cobb et al., 1997) and a landscape-type construction tool, named Tinkerplots (Konold & Miller, 2000). The contrast between these tool types is illustrated with experiences from classroom-based research, mainly with the minitools in grade 7 (students being 11 to 12 years old). The design of the minitools is based on a hypothetical learning trajectory (Simon, 1995) and the design theory of Realistic Mathematics Education (e.g., Gravemeijer, 1994). Tinkerplots is designed in collaboration with five math curricula and seems open to different approaches. It is shown how certain characteristics of the tools influences the instructional decisions that the curriculum writer and teacher have to make. This necessarily leads to the questions of how teachers can proactively support the learning process and how mathematical practices evolve in classroom communities (Cobb et al., 2001).|
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