Based on a review of research and a cognitive development model, the authors formulated a framework for characterising elementary children's statistical thinking and refined it through a validation process. The 4 constructs in this framework were describing, organising, representing, and analysing and interpreting data. For each construct, they hypothesised 4 thinking levels, which represent a continuum from idiosyncratic to analytic reasoning. They developed statistical thinking descriptors for each level and construct and used these to design an interview protocol. They refined and validated the framework using data from protocols of 20 target students in Grades 1 through 5. Results of the study confirm that children's statistical thinking can be described according to the 4 framework levels and that the framework provides a coherent picture of children's thinking, in that 80 per cent of them exhibited thinking that was stable on at least 3 constructs. The framework contributes domain-specific theory for characterising children's statistical thinking and for planning instruction in data handling. [ Author abstract, ed]
Refereed article. Includes bibliographical references.
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