Secondary School Students’ Construction and Interpretation of Statistical Tables
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Statistical tablesUnderstandingSecondary school students
Pallauta, J.D.; Arteaga, P.; Garzón-Guerrero, J.A. Secondary School Students’ Construction and Interpretation of Statistical Tables. Mathematics 2021, 9, 3197. [https://doi.org/10.3390/math9243197]
SponsorshipMinisterio de Ciencia e Innovacion research group FQM-126 (Junta de Andalucia, Spain) PID2019-105601GB-I00/AEI; ANID 72190280
Understanding statistical tables is a main component of statistical literacy, although related research dealing with secondary school students is scarce. The purpose of this study was to investigate secondary school students’ performance when translating graphs to tables and then interpreting the resulting table. Using content analysis of the responses to a questionnaire given to a sample of Spanish students, we analysed the correctness of the constructed table, the semiotic conflicts that appeared in their construction, the interpretation of the table elements, the ability to argue on the basis of the information in the table, and the reading level exhibited by the student in this task. Most students correctly translated a pictogram to a frequency table, and a half of them a double bar graph to a two-way table. The main semiotic conflicts were misinterpretation of the icon in the pictogram and incorrect computation of marginal frequencies. About 40% of the sample correctly justified a statement using the data in the graph and then reached the upper reading level of the graph and table, but only a minority achieved that level when the question required knowledge of the context. The findings of the study suggested points to reinforce the teaching of statistical graphs and tables.