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# Probability concepts in school pupils aged 11–16 years

thesis

posted on 2010-11-29, 11:44 authored by David R. GreenThe thesis begins with a survey of current teaching of
probability and of research into probability concepts.
The next part of the thesis reports an investigation into
performance on probability items by candidates in the University
of London GCE'0' Level Mathematics Multiple Choice Examination
and in the East Midland Regional Examinations Board CSE Mathematics
Examination. Analysis of multiple choice responses and
examination scripts is described, investigating the extent of
sex differences in probability.
The main body of the thesis describes and discusses the
development, administration and results of a probability concepts
test, which was produced for the SSRC-sponsored 'Chance and
Probability Concepts Project' (1978-81) under the direction of
the author. The concepts test, which was administered to
approximately 3000 pupils aged 11-16 years in mixed secondary
and middle schools in the East Midlands, comprised items covering
various elementary probabilistic, statistical and combinatoric concepts.
The thesis then describes the establishment of a probability
concepts hierarchy, supplementing the research of the Concepts in
Secondary Mathematics and Science Project (Chelsea College, 1974-1979).
Finally a detailed analysis of the test results is
incorporated which considers probability conceptual development
in relation to the variables age, intelligence, mathematical
ability,and sex
The main findings of the research are as follows: Probability
concepts development is age-related but the most important single
factor is the general intellectual ability of the subject.
Mathematical ability is strongly related to test performance but
this is largely attributable to its equally high correlation with
intellectual ability. Sex differences exist, with boys generally
superior, but these are of a minor nature. Some important conceptual
ideas appear to be more highly developed in younger rather than
older pupils, and in girls rather than boys. Most pupils do not
attain Piaget's stage III (formal operations).

## History

## School

- Science

## Department

- Mathematical Sciences

## Publisher

© David Robert Green## Publication date

1982## Notes

A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.## EThOS Persistent ID

uk.bl.ethos.357303## Language

- en