Fostering students’ informal quantitative estimations of uncertainty through statistical modeling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Estimating and accounting for statistical uncertainty have become essential in today’s information age, and crucial for cultivating a sound decision making citizenry. Engaging with statistical uncertainty early on can support the gradual development of uncertainty-related considerations that are often challenging to foster at any age. Statistical modeling is a promising introductory practice given the key role played by statistical uncertainty. However, the probabilistic language and tools utilized to formally account for statistical uncertainty are typically seen as insurmountable hurdles to the meaningful engagement of elementary school students. The goal of this article is to demonstrate the pedagogical potential of a particular learning sequence based on an informal adaptation of statistical modeling, integrating student-led real-world investigations and statistical modeling activities. An instrumental case study of a pair of 12-year-old students’ process illustrates how young learners construct informal accounts of statistical uncertainty as they engage in these activities. The discussion centers on the aspects of the learning sequence and guidance that supported their progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-450
Number of pages28
JournalInstructional Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • Informal statistical modeling
  • Integrated modeling approach
  • Statistical models
  • Statistics education
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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