This talk is a reflection on more-than-a-decade research in the area of statistics education in upper primary school (grades 4-6, 10-12 years old). The goal of these studies was to better understand the emergence of young students' statistical reasoning as they were involved in authentic data investigations and statistical model simulations in a technology-enhanced learning ecology entitled Connections. The talk describes three main evolving paradigms that guide our educational and academic efforts: EDA, ISI, and Modeling. The first, EDA, refers to Exploratory Data Analysis – children investigate sample data they have collected without making explicit inferences to a larger population. The second, ISI, refers to Informal Statistical Inference – children make inferences informally about a larger population than the sample they have at hand. The third, Modeling – children use computerized tools to model the phenomenon they study, and simulate many random samples from that model to study statistical ideas and iteratively improve their hypothetical population model. In each of these three paradigms, we provide a short rationale, an example of students' learning outcomes, and learned lessons. To conclude, current challenges in statistics education are discussed in light of these paradigms.
Prof. Dani Ben-Zvi is a member of the Mathematics Education and the Learning, Instruction and Teacher Education Departments, in the Faculty of Education, University of Haifa, Israel. Dani is a leading international scholar in statistics education, focusing on developing students' statistical reasoning that involves creating and evaluating data-based claims that are used as a means of increasing credibility of arguments and of making decisions under uncertainty. Dani has a lifetime of experience working with learning communities. He designs and studies technology-enhanced learning communities as means to make complex domains such as statistics and learning sciences more accessible to learners. For the past decade, he has been the leader of the Educational Technologies Graduate Program in the University of Haifa. Currently, he leads a Research Excellence Center in Israel that examines learning in a networked society (LINKS I-CORE) in inter-disciplinary ways. You can learn more about his latest work here.