University of Twente Student Theses


Wat te doen wanneer metingen anders blijken te zijn dan verwacht? Een onderzoek naar het begrijpen van variabiliteit in metingen bij kinderen

Velde, Heleen van der (2012) Wat te doen wanneer metingen anders blijken te zijn dan verwacht? Een onderzoek naar het begrijpen van variabiliteit in metingen bij kinderen.

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Abstract:This thesis attempts to answer the question whether age influences the understanding of variability in measurements. According to Masnick and Klahr (2003) children at the age of 8 already understand a lot about variability in measurements, while Kanari and Millar (2004) argue that children aged 14 still do not fully understand this. In addition, the extent to which children in both age groups are able to use the arithmetic mean in inquiry learning with variable measurements will be investigated. At primary school, children in the 5th grade are asked to calculate the arithmetic average over a range of numbers, but can they already do this themselves in new situations? And will their skills improve after watching an instructional video? A total of 55 pupils, 27 pupils from the 5th grade of a public elementary school (mean 8.2 years) and 28 high school students from a 2nd grade of a secondary school (average 13.5 years), participated in this study. They worked with a ramp of which they could roll off different balls. The dependent variable in the experiment was the time the ball needed to come down and the independent variables were the colour of the ball and the height, area and length of the ramp. Using different assignments in which variables were changed, both the same settings and different institutions were compared. The experimenter asked questions about this. Half of the students from each age group got to see an instructional video prior to the experiment in which the arithmetic mean was explained. The results show that pupils at the age of 14 can give several different reasons for the non-identical results at identical settings. In addition, they are good at comparing two different institutions; they give correct conclusions and they often use one strategy for valuing five measurements. Children at the age of 8 perform less well on all parts; they give less different explanations for variation in measurements at identical settings and use different strategies when they have to give a value. This shows that the understanding of variability increases with age. An effect of the instruction video could not be demonstrated.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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