Conceptual issues in understanding the inner logic of statistical inference

Insights from two teaching experiments

Luis A. Saldanha, Patrick Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report on a sequence of two classroom teaching experiments that investigated high school students' understandings as they explored connections among the ideas comprising the inner logic of statistical inference-ideas involving a core image of sampling as a repeatable process, and the organization of its outcomes into a distribution of sample statistics as a basis for making inferences. Students' responses to post-instruction test questions indicate that despite understanding various individual components of inference-a sample, a population, and a distribution of a sample statistic-their abilities to coordinate and compose these into a coherent and well-connected scheme of ideas were usually tenuous. We argue that the coordination and composition required to assemble these component ideas into a coherent scheme is a major source of difficulty in developing a deep understanding of inference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Mathematical Behavior
Volume35
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

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Statistical Inference
Sample statistic
Teaching
Statistics
Logic
Students
experiment
statistics
Experiment
Experiments
Demography
Sampling
student
Chemical analysis
instruction
organization
classroom
ability
school

Keywords

  • Margin of error
  • Sampling distribution
  • Statistical inference
  • Stochastic event

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Education

Cite this

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