Probability and statistics---teaching driven by representation

Jasmina V. Milinković, Ivica Radovanović

The newest reform of the educational system in Serbia brings forward the introduction of elements of probability and statistics in the elementary school curriculum. The paper explores possibilities for finding an optimal approach for developing basic probability and statistics concepts. Our research aimed to document the effects of alternative teaching methods of instructions based on the representational teaching approach, anchored to problems' representation (enactive, iconic, or symbolic). On a sample of 392 pupils, ages 11 to 14, three variants of the experimental program were compared using a nonparametric statistical procedure. The findings indicate that the �iconic� representational approach had better effects with younger pupils while the symbolic representational approach was the most effective representational method for higher grades of elementary school. A major implication of the study is that the representational teaching approach can be adjusted to the grade of pupils.