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Supporting students to make judgements using real-life data. (English)
Aust. Math. Teach. 69, No. 2, 4-11 (2013).
Summary: Numeracy in schools is becoming an increasingly important part of mathematics learning and teaching. This is because educators want students to engage with mathematical concepts more deeply, use mathematics to make sense of their environment and make decisions that are based on the analysis of mathematical information. In order to be numerate, students must be able to acquire mathematical concepts and procedures, and apply these flexibly in a range of real life contexts. The school mathematics curriculum provides a number of strands of mathematics from which students can draw from, such as geometry and algebra in order to exhibit their numeracy skills. In the present study, numeracy is investigated from the perspective of students’ abilities to gather, display and interpret data ‒ an area of numeracy that has been broadly referred to as statistical literacy. A statistically literate student can be expected to demonstrate an ability to use statistical concepts to make sense of his or her immediate environment. This area of students’ numeracy continues to be challenging for many students. In this paper the authors draw on their recent research that focuses on the interpretative aspects of real-life data and generating ideas for activities that would better engage children in the complex and somewhat more demanding area of statistical literacy. They do this firstly by advancing a model of phases that they suggest students go through from being able to draw a graph to being able to interpret a graph and make decisions. Secondly, they present findings from an authentic real-life context that they investigated in order to examine the usefulness of the phases outlined in their model. Finally the authors examine possible strategies for classroom practice. (ERIC)
Classification: K40 K70
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