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date-indexed tables, half tables and control tables ˆ are analyzed. Recommendations are made to improve reader understanding of any table involving rates or percentages. Web copy: Torok, R. & Watson, J. (2000). Development of the concept of statistical variation: An exploratory study. Mathematics Education Research Journal , 12, 147-169. An appreciation of variation is central to statistical thinking, but very little research has focused directly on students’ understandings about variation. In this exploratory study, four students from each of grades 4, 6, 8, and 10 were interviewed individually on aspects of variation present in three settings. The first setting was an isolated random sampling situation, whereas the other two settings were realistic sampling situations. Four levels of responding were identified and described in relation to developing concepts of variation. Implications for teaching and future research on variation are considered. Wang, A (2001) How much can be taught about stochastic processes and to whom? In C. Batanero (Ed.), Training researchers in the use of statistics (pp. 73-85). Granada: International Association for Statistical Education and International Statistical Institute. Researchers quite often need to model and analyse real-world phenomena using stochastic processes. Learning stochastic processes requires a good knowledge of probability theory, calculus, matrix algebra and a general level of mathematical maturity. However, not all researchers have a good foundation in probability and mathematics. In this paper, we discuss different approaches to the teaching of a first course in stochastic processes to researchers. Difficulties in the understanding of a stochastic processes and the various mathematical techniques used in stochastic processes are discussed. Proposal for the core topics of such a course and ways of teaching them are put forward. Wang, A. (2001). Introducing Markov chain models to undergraduates, Bulletin of the International Statistical Institute 53rd Session , (invited papers), Book 2, 179-182. Learning Markov chains models requires some knowledge of probability theory, matrix algebra and a general level of mathematical maturity. While trying to understand Markov chains models, students usually encounter many obstacles and difficulties. In this paper, some suggestions regarding the teaching of introductory Markov chains models to undergraduates are discussed. Watson, J. M. (2000). Preservice mathematics teachers’ understanding of sampling: Intuition or mathematics. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development , 2, 121-135. This paper considers 33 preservice secondary mathematics teachers’ solutions to a famous sampling problem, well known for confounding educated adults: the “hospital problem” of Tversky and Kahneman. Of particular interest is the use of intuition and/or formal mathematics in reaching a conclusion. The relationships of solution strategy to students’ background in formal mathematics and to gender are also considered. Implications for teaching statistics at both the secondary and preservice teacher education levels are discussed briefly.
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