Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2023

Publication Title

International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology (IJEMST)




The purpose of this study was to determine K-8 preservice teacher (PST) candidates’ statistical thinking when selecting the best center representation for the given data. Forty-four PSTs enrolled in a Statistics and Probability for K-8 Teachers course in a university located in the southeastern region of the United States were asked to complete a 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress test item. All 44 PSTs’ data were qualitatively analyzed for correctness and statistical thinking strategies used. Findings were that most PSTs either incorrectly selected the mean, rather than median, as the best measure of center for the given data or did not use appropriate statistical reasoning when explaining their answers. Future research includes modifying the explanation component so PSTs must better explain their statistical thinking for their choice of best measure of center using the context of the problem. Future research could also include implementing a pre- and post-test design with the post-test item embedded in the final exam. This design will provide additional understanding of how much knowledge PSTs bring to the course versus how much they learn in the course and provide incentive for giving thoughtful consideration for their answers.


Georgia Southern University faculty members, Eryn M. Maher, Gregory Chamblee, and Sharon Taylor co-authored K-8 Preservice Teachers’ Statistical Thinking When Determining Best Measure of Center.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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Mathematics Commons