Thesis / Dissertation

  • By videotaping students' statistical conversations on hypothesis testing, I was able to analyze students' reasoning at more depth and observe more closely what students understand and do not understand. Two statistics instructors and eight pairs of community college students were asked to solve hypothesis test problems and answer questions about their work.

  • The primary objectives were to evaluate and compare the addition of two active learning methods (cooperative and internet) on students' performance: assess their impact on performance after adjusting for differences in students' learning style; and examine the influence of learning style on trial participation. No performance differences by group were observed by intent-to-treat analysis. Participation in active learning appears to improve students performance in an introductory biostatistics course and provides opportunities for enhancing understanding beyond that attained in traditional didactic classrooms.

  • This thesis is the recount of a study that began with the aim of unpacking the statistical expertise of the teacher and author, with the intent of improving statistics teaching and learning. In the process of doing this, the researcher examined the expertise of other experts through a case study of a statistics professor, concept mapping of ideas of statistics professionals and through an examination of statistical literature. As the researcher and teacher moved to a position of accepting that statistics is a study of variation, she discovered a failure by authors of many introductory textbooks to appropriately acknowledge variation as a (the?) fundamental statistical concept.

  • The research literature on affect and statistics consists of many studies that examined the relationships between mathematics and statistical anxiety and achievement, and between statistical attitudes and achievement. However, what has not been looked at is the relationship between mathematics and statistical anxiety and statistical attitudes. This is an important relationship to examine because it may help explain the relationship in these two bodies of research. Therefore, the current study was designed to investigate the relationship between students' pre-course mathematical and statistical anxiety and their post-course statistical attitudes. In addition, gender differences and graduate/undergraduate status differences will be examined to see how they figure into this relationship.

  • This paper begins by summarizing the research on attitudes toward and anxiety about statistics, distinguishing between studies in the two areas. Next, a research project that explores the relationship between attitudes toward statistics and a particular instructional method is described. A discussion of the results is followed by implications and suggestions for future research.<br>There are three main questions that this study addresses.<br>1. Are there differences in attitudes toward statistics for students in classes that use multimedia software, other software, or no technology?<br>2. Are there differences in how students in these settings view the role of technology in doing statistics?<br>3. Are there gender differences in attitudes toward statistics and views of technology in doing statistics?

  • This study utilized teacher development experiment methodology to support, and deeply examine, three teachers' understandings and practices regarding content, pedagogy, and technology as they learn about and strive to integrate Fathom, data analysis software, into their curriculum and instruction. Surveys, observations, and interviews were utilized to gather data in order to research the interactions among these three factors and how they were associated with the effectiveness of the three teachers' integration of technology. Pictures of weak, developing, and exemplary facilitation of Technology-Supported Inquiry Learning, as outlined by an effective learning environment conceptual framework, resulted from this study. Exemplary practices occurred in teachers who held strong understandings and practices in all areas; content, pedagogy, and technology. This implies that professional development must be provided in such a way that teachers can learn about, practice with, and reflect on all areas simultaneously.

  • This thesis aims to analyze factors that determine success when reading statistical graphics, based on Krutetskii's mathematical ability theory and Pinker's graphical comprehension theory. 814 undergraduate students attending Statistical courses were investigated. Six instruments were used: a questionnaire; two attitudes scale towards Statistics and Mathematics; and mathematical, statistics, and verbal aptitude tests. Findings show that success when reading statistical graphics lie on the understanding of the statistical concept, level of knowledge of graphics, visual-pictorial ability, and gender. Male students show more positive attitudes, and higher scores at cognitive tests, except at the verbal aptitude test. Instruction also shows to play a significant role on the development of statistical and graphic abilities.

  • En esta Tesis nos hemos interesado por el estudio de los conocimientos y las actitudes hacia la estad&iacute;stica de los profesores en formaci&oacute;n, justificando el inter&eacute;s del estudio por la influencia de estas variables sobre la planificaci&oacute;n de la acci&oacute;n educativa que cubra tanto los conocimientos matem&aacute;ticos y did&aacute;cticos como la educaci&oacute;n de la afectividad del profesor. El trabajo se ha llevado a cabo en dos fases. En la primera presentamos los resultados de pasar una escala de actitudes de construcci&oacute;n propia a una muestra de 66 profesores en ejercicio y 74 profesores en formaci&oacute;n de educaci&oacute;n primaria. No encontramos diferencias por g&eacute;nero, aunque si una mejor&iacute;a en aquellos alumnos que la estudiaron previamente. Contrariamente a nuestra hip&oacute;tesis inicial, tampoco encontramos unas diferencias acusadas en las actitudes de profesores en formaci&oacute;n y profesores en ejercicio, por lo que decidimos continuar el trabajo centr&aacute;ndonos exclusivamente en el primer grupo, que es sobre el que recae principalmente nuestra acci&oacute;n formativa. Para la segunda fase del estudio, realizada con una muestra de 367 profesores en formaci&oacute;n elegimos la escala SATS, despu&eacute;s de realizar un comparativo de escalas de medici&oacute;n de actitudes. Asimismo utilizamos una parte del cuestionario Statistics Reasoning Assessment, construido por Konold y Garfield para obtener algunos datos sobre los conocimientos estad&iacute;sticos de los profesores. Se confirma que la actitud de los profesores en formaci&oacute;n es en general positiva independientemente del genero y de la especialidad. Aporta ademas una evaluaci&oacute;n orientativa de los conocimientos estad&iacute;sticos de los profesores en formaci&oacute;n, encontrando errores conceptuales sobre los promedios, muestreo, valor at&iacute;pico, as&iacute; como en las interpretaciones de la probabilidad. En estos errores influye la especialidad cursada en los estudios de Magisterio. Se observa tambi&eacute;n una relaci&oacute;n moderada entre actitudes y conocimientos estad&iacute;sticos. Pensamos que esto sugiere la necesidad de apoyo desde los departamentos de did&aacute;ctica y facultades de educaci&oacute;n. Todos estos resultados se comparan con otros estudios previos de actitudes hacia la estad&iacute;stica. La Memoria incluye tambi&eacute;n un estudio detallado de las investigaciones previas sobre actitudes hacia la estad&iacute;stica y errores en conceptos estad&iacute;sticos elementales, as&iacute; como un an&aacute;lisis del concepto actitud, sus componentes y medici&oacute;n y de las principales escalas de actitudes hacia la estad&iacute;stica.

  • This is a collaborative research linking researcher and teachers working together at schools. Our assumption is that teachers' professional knowledge, resulting from the integration of theory and practice, is personal and can be mainly observed from teacher's work while developing the curriculum. Moreover, teachers' professional development emerges when they intentionally engage in an educational project, and reflect on their practice, as individuals and as a group. We also took into account the relevance of researchers' participation, professional knowledge, questioning capacity and empathy when encouraging teachers to learn more about themselves and their practice.<br>Freire's concept of reflective teacher was taken into account to investigate the contributions that Statistics and Probability concepts can bring to a group of Kindergarten teachers' professional education and pedagogical practice in a private school in Campinas. A planned intervention led to collaborative production, which allowed the enlargement of professional knowledge concerning Mathematics and Statistics, the curriculum, and the teaching learning process for these teachers. Information was collected along three years of teaching, using questionnaires, interviews, papers, the researcher's notes, collective discussion of texts, videotaped lessons and analysis of activities planned and performed by the teachers. Case study of teachers and coordinators participating in the experience when trying to identify important points in their mathematics, statistics and didactics knowledge and their professional development were used.<br><br>Main conclusions were: The curriculum knowledge was linked to teachers' conception about the meaning of statistics and probability in Kindergarten education. Teachers were aware of the curricula goals, and were capable to design projects related to their context. Their didactical knowledge was visible in solving the problems and in the diversity of strategies and solutions. Their professional development increased through their ethical and solidary work when jointly producing concept developments and didactics knowledge for Mathematics and Statistics. Consequently, we suggest an educational process that values the teachers' knowledge, challenges their reasoning, encourage teachers' research on their own practice and allow them to contribute to collective production of knowledge.

  • The statistics reform will only be successful if those teaching statistics understand and react to the changing direction of the discipline. To this end, the Mathematical Association of America, in conjunction with the National Science Foundation, administered a series of development workshops for mathematicians teaching introductory statistics courses at the post secondary level. The purpose of these STATS Workshops (Statististical Thinking with Activie Teaching Strategies) is to help mathematics faculty who have no formal teaching in statistics gain the training and knowledge needed to be successful.<br><br>The particpant observer recorded the day-to-day activities and surveyed the attainment of workshop objectives. The participant observer interviewed attendees to bring additional depth to the traditional evaluation and to enhance the clarity of experiences and opinions of the participants.