Junior high school students construction of global views of data and data representations

Educational Studies in Mathematics
Ben-Zvi, D., & Arcavi, A.

The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze the first steps of a pair of 7th-grade students working through an especially designed curriculum on Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) in a technological environment. The verbal abilities of these students allowed us to follow, at a very fine level of detail, the ways in which they begin to make sense of data, data representations, and the "culture" of data handling and analysis. We describe in detail the process of learning skills, procedures and concepts, as well as the process of adopting and exercising the habits and points of view which are common among experts. We concentrate on the issue of the development of a global view of data and its representations on the basis of students' previous knowledge and different kinds of local observations. In the light of the analysis, we propose a description of what it may mean to learn EDA, and draw educational and curricular implications.

The CAUSE Research Group is supported in part by a member initiative grant from the American Statistical Association’s Section on Statistics and Data Science Education