The Statistical Reasoning Learning Environment: A Comparison of Students’ Statistical Reasoning Ability

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Journal of Statistics Education



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Active learning, Comparative study, Constructivism, Quasi-experimental, Socio-constructivism, Statistical reasoning


© 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. The purpose of this study was to study the impact of conformity to statistical reasoning learning environment (SRLE) principles on students’ statistical reasoning in advanced placement statistics courses. A quasi-experimental design was used to compare teachers’ levels of conformity to SRLE principles through a matching process used to mitigate the effects of nonrandom assignment. This matching process resulted in five pairs of similar teachers and schools who differed in self-reported beliefs in the effectiveness and application of SRLE principles. Increases in students’ statistical reasoning were found at varying levels in both high and low conformity classrooms. Improvements among teachers with low conformity to SRLE principles were less varied and consistent with national averages for improvement by college students. Improvements in classes with high conformity to SRLE principles were more varied. Students of two teachers with high levels of conformity to SRLE principles showed large levels of improvement in statistical reasoning in comparison to national results. While the comparison between classrooms conformity to SRLE principles revealed no statistically significant differences in students’ statistical reasoning ability, deeper analysis suggests that beliefs and practices aligned with SRLE principles have potential to increase students’ statistical reasoning at rates above national averages.

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