Graph knowledge: Understanding how students interpret data using graphs

North American Chaper of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education
Friel, S. N., & Bright, G. W.
Colombus, OH

Concepts such as measures of center or graphicacy can be linked to the "analyze the data" component of the statistical investigation process. While a central goal is to understand how students make use of the process of statistical investigation within the broader context of problem solving, it also is necessary that we look at students' understanding related to concepts linked to this process. This has led us to consider what it means to understand and use graphical representations as a key part of what it means to know and be able to do statistics. Specifically, we have engaged in a process of developmental research that permits examination of middle grades learning of concepts related to the use and interpretation of representations. We have looked at how such understanding changes over time and with instructional intervention provided by knowledgeable teachers in order to develop a framework both for looking at students' knowledge of graphing (in the statistical sense) and for developing a research agenda related to this area.