Graphical representations: Helping students interpret data


Book: 
Reflections on statistics: Learning, teaching, and assessment in grades K-12
Authors: 
Bright, G. W., & Friel, S. N.
Editors: 
Lajoie, Susanne P.
Type: 
Category: 
Pages: 
63-88
Year: 
1998
Publisher: 
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Place: 
Mahwah, NJ
Abstract: 

The process of statistical investigation may be conceptualized as having four components: Posing the question, collecting the data, analyzing the data, and interpreting the data. Graphical representations of data are a critical part of the analysis phase, since the use of different representations communicates information in different ways. This chapter discusses instructional strategies for moving between three different pairs of representations: bar graphs showing ungrouped data and standard bar graphs, line plots and bar graphs, and stem-and-leaf plots and histograms. These strategies are designed to optimize the accuracy of interpretations and avoid common pitfalls in making sense of the data; the strategies focus on reading rather than on making the representations themselves. Students' attempts to make the translations between representations are discussed within the framework of the instructional suggestions.

register