Toward Understanding the Role of Technological Tools in Statistical Learning

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This article begins with some context setting on new views of statistics and statistical education. These views are reflected, in particular, in the introduction of exploratory data analysis (EDA) into the statistics curriculum. Then, a detailed example of EDA learning activity in the middle school is introduced, which makes use of the power of the spreadsheet to mediate students' construction of meanings for statistical conceptions. Through this example, I endeavor to illustrate how an attempt at serious integration of computers in teaching and learning statistics brings about a cascade of changes in curriculum materials, classroom praxis, and students' ways of learning. A theoretical discussion follows that underpins the impact of technological tools on teaching and learning statistics by emphasizing how the computer lends itself to supporting cognitive and sociocultural processes. Subsequently, I present a sample of educational technologies, which represents the sorts of software that have typically been used in statistics instruction: statistical packages (tools), microworlds, tutorials, resources (including Internet resources), and teachers' metatools. Finally, certain implications and recommendations for the use of computers in the statistical educational milieu are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-155
Number of pages29
JournalMathematical Thinking and Learning
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

doi: 10.1207/S15327833MTL0202_6


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