Knowledge and understanding of probability and statistics topics by preservice PK-8 teachers

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Title: Knowledge and understanding of probability and statistics topics by preservice PK-8 teachers
Author: Carter, Tamara Anthony
Abstract: Given the importance placed on probability and statistics in the PK -8 curriculum by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2000 ) and on teachers by the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (1995 ) and the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (2001 ) , it is important to know how well preservice teachers understand topics that are vital to a thorough understanding of the probability and statistics topics emphasized by national standards . It is necessary for a teacher to thoroughly understand the subject matter in order to teach effectively , but that is not sufficient . A teacher must also be able to successfully communicate with the students about that material . Therefore , this study utilized a standards - and literature -based assessment to study 210 preservice teachers with the goal of taking the first step in determining whether current PK -8 preservice teachers are prepared to teach select probability and statistics topics specified in standards documents . The assessment contains 11 probability and statistics items with a total of 23 parts in a variety of shortanswer , multiple -choice , and extended -response formats . It is described in detail in Chapter III and reproduced in Appendix A . A confirmatory factor analysis indicated that for this sample of PK -8 preservice teachers , the assessment measured the underlying constructs on which it was based . Preservice teachers ? ? ability to answer these items varied greatly . For short -answer and multiple -choice items , the percentage of preservice teachers incorrectly answering an item was as high as 87 % and as low as 18 % . For extended -response items , incorrect answers were provided by as few as 12 % of the participants on one item and by as many as 83 % on another . Individual responses were analyzed to illustrate correct conceptions and misconceptions of these preservice teachers . There was not a statistically significant difference between responses based on the grade band the participants were preparing to teach , but students specializing in mathematics and science did perform better than other participants . Although effect sizes were small , the amount of time elapsed since an elementary statistics class was taken and the number of methods courses taken were positively associated with performance on this assessment .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /2567
Date: 2005-11-01

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Knowledge and understanding of probability and statistics topics by preservice PK-8 teachers. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /2567 .

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