Building a Connection between Experimental and Theoretical Aspects of Probability
Seth Ireland, Jane Watson
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This paper addresses a question identified by Graham Jones: what are the connections made by students in the middle years of schooling between classical and frequentist orientations to probability? It does so based on two extended lessons with a class of Grade 5/6 students and in-depth interviews with eight students from the class. The Model 1 version of the software TinkerPlots was used in both settings to simulate increasingly large samples of random events. The aim was to document the students’ understanding of probability on a continuum from experimental to theoretical, including consideration of the interaction of manipulatives, the simulator, and the law of large numbers. A cognitive developmental model was used to assess students’ understanding and recommendations are made for classroom interventions.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

INT ELECT J MATH ED, Volume 4, Issue 3, October 2009, 339-370

Publication date: 12 Dec 2009

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Article Downloads: 3022

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