Waikato Journal of Education
Journal cover


Everyday experience


This paper reports on data from a large study which explored form five (14 to 16 years old) students' ideas in statistics. The study focused on descriptive statistics, graphical representations and probability. This paper discusses the ways in which students made sense of probability questions obtained from the individual interviews. The findings revealed that many of the students used strategies based on prior experiences (beliefs, cultural and school experiences) and intuitive strategies. From the analysis, I identified a four-category rubric that could be considered for describing how students construct meanings for statistics tasks. While the results of the study confirm a number of findings of other researchers, the findings go beyond those discussed in the literature. The use of beliefs and everyday and school experiences was considerably more common than that discussed in literature. The paper concludes by suggesting some implications for teachers and researchers.

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