The impact of variation theory for secondary school students on acquiring probabilistic knowledge

Doi Pei YICK, Chi Keung Eddie LEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

This study explored how the teaching of probability under the framework of Ference Marton’s Variation Theory affected the learning outcomes of secondary 5 students. After eight probability lessons, the experimental group of 25 secondary 5 students significantly improved their posttest mean score on the overall probabilistic skills by 24% from the pretest mean score under the 90% significance. In contrast, the control group of similar ability (n = 30) unfortunately showed no remarkable progress in terms of their transfer performance. Regarding the elimination of probabilistic misconceptions, the experimental group was more capable of avoiding two of the four measured misconceptions, as contrasted to the control group of similar ability who made no progress on any of the misconception aspects, while the control group of higher ability (n = 36) improved on all four measured aspects. Variation Theory helped senior secondary students learn probability, especially for those who were at average ability, while the students with higher learning ability may still learn probability well under the traditional teaching approach. A group of secondary 1 students (n = 32) also wrote the same assessment. The probabilistic knowledge of the secondary 1 student was compared with the initial performance of the secondary 5 students. No significant difference was detected between the secondary 1 and 5 students. This study agreed that the probabilistic skills did not necessarily grow with ages. Copyright © 2017 TJPRC Pvt. Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-178
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Science and Research
Volume7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Citation

Yick, D. P., & Leung, C. K. (2017). The impact of variation theory for secondary school students on acquiring probabilistic knowledge. International Journal of Educational Science and Research, 7(1), 167-178.

Keywords

  • Variation theory
  • Probability
  • Mathematics instruction & transfer performance

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