This article aims to present a first approximation of the conceptual field of measures of central tendency (MCT), grounded in the theory of conceptual fields. We propose six situations according to type of variable, data presentation (raw or grouped) and amount of data. We revisit specific situations for the mean and exemplify several possibilities for introducing these measures. This is a theoretical reflection and a systematization of the knowledge produced in the area with a view to aiding it teaching in Brazilian basic education (PreK-12). We argue that from the early school years, students should collect data, use concrete and manipulable material, analyze the types of variable and context of data, transform them into different representations and based on the visual observation of data distribution, intuit the location of MCT to then calculate them.
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