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Investigations should, initially, be set in familiar contexts within the everyday experience of the students. Gradual diversification into wider and more abstract contexts follow.
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b) Match prior knowledge of studentsInvestigations should use concepts which are familiar by their everyday use or by previous learning. The conceptual demands will therefore increase as students grow older. c) The complexity of the variables involvedEarly investigations require a systematic approach, involving simple variables in the design of a ‘fair test’. In later years, investigations should involve the use of more variables. Here, decisions will need to be taken regarding the number, range and values of the data to be collected. d) Skills of reporting and recording the results of investigationsAs the complexity of investigations progress in the manner outlined above, the need for more complex reporting skills becomes apparent. Students must be encouraged to appreciate the most appropriate form of representation in graphs, charts and tables - bearing in mind the nature of the investigation they have carried out. They should also make use of, and develop, their technical vocabulary in reporting. e) Interpreting data obtained by investigationsInitially, interpretation of data requires the understanding and evaluating of data in relation to the original problem, and the sorting out of simple patterns. Further progress would be indicated by the identification of mathematical relationships.