Investigating students’ understanding of the histogram: (Master thesis)

Τσιπλάκης, Παναγιώτης/ Tsiplakis, Panagiotis

The histogram is a frequently utilized graph for depicting frequency distributions, extensively found in both scientific literature and everyday informational sources. Although it's a valuable tool, comprehending and accurately interpreting histograms can be challenging, particularly for students outside mathematics fields. Inspired by a recent literature review that classified misconceptions about histograms into two types - those related to the concept of data and those related to the concept of distribution – an empirical study was carried out with 152 students from the School of Education at Democritus University of Thrace. The purpose was to uncover the challenges these participants encounter in comprehending histograms. This study aimed to uncover the challenges these students encounter in understanding histograms. The primary research instrument was a 14-question multiple-choice test administered during the fall semester of 2022-2023. Data analysis revealed that prospective teachers were more adept at interpreting histogram data but struggled with grasping the concept of distribution. Interestingly, primary education students outperformed those in early childhood education in test scores. The study found no association between difficulties in understanding histograms and the students' high school background or prior statistics coursework. Using the K-means clustering method, three distinct student groups emerged, each with unique challenges in histogram comprehension. The majority group faced significant obstacles in understanding histograms. A second group, predominantly preschool education students, held substantial misconceptions about the concept of distribution. The third group, largely primary education students, had difficulties in interpreting data presented in histograms. These findings have implications for enhancing the pedagogical approach to teaching introductory statistics in higher education.
Alternative title / Subtitle: μία εμπειρική έρευνα σε υποψήφιους/ες εκπαιδευτικούς πρωτοβάθμιας εκπαίδευσης
an empirical study of prospective primary school teachers
Institution and School/Department of submitter: Δημοκρίτειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θράκης. Σχολή Επιστημών Αγωγής. Τμήμα Επιστημών της Εκπαίδευσης στην Προσχολική Ηλικία
Subject classification: Statistics--Study and teaching (Higher)
Keywords: Ιστογράμματα,Στατιστική,Ερμηνεία δεδομένων,Στατιστικός γραμματισμός,Histograms,Statistics education,Data interpretation,Statistical literacy

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