Author

Adam Eide

Date Approved

2018

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Mathematics

Committee Member

Stephanie Casey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Andrew Ross, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carla Tayeh, Ph.D.

Abstract

Statistical association is an important concept in statistics. An exploratory study examined how students reason about statistical association utilizing graphical representations constructed with CODAP, a dynamic statistical graphing software. Task-based interviews were conducted with three 6th grade students prior to formal instruction. Students’ conceptions of a statistical relationship, proportional reasoning skill level, ability to interpret bivariate categorical graphs (particularly segmented bar graphs and two-way binned plots), and ability to identify association of two categorical variables were all investigated through interview tasks and responses to inquiry. Students were found to have developing proportional reasoning skills and struggled to correctly define and identify association. These results were compared to a previous study which asked students to analyze pre-constructed graphs. Students were more successful interpreting graphs that they constructed than pre-constructed graphs. These results have curricular and future research implications.

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