Research-based guidance and classroom activities for teachers of mathematics

Inference

Inference is a theme within reasoning about data. Links to relevant activities and resources are on the right hand side of this page. 

Researchers have become interested in how younger students reason with data and, by implication, whether new pedagogic methods and tools, such as TinkerPlotsTM, might build on those reasoning processes to facilitate deeper understanding.

The notion of informal inferential reasoning (IIR) is now used to capture learning processes, whether as a precursor to learning classical inference, or as an essential piece of equipment for the modern statistically literate citizen.

Informal inferential reasoning has been described as the process of making probabilistic generalizations from data that extend beyond the data collected, and as the way in which students use their informal statistical knowledge to make arguments to support inferences about unknown populations based on observed samples.