Preservice Mathematics Teachers’ Understanding of Sampling: Intuition or Mathematics

Jane Watson


This paper considers 33 preservice secondary mathematics teachers’ solutions to a
famous sampling problem, well known for confounding educated adults. 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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