An Investigation of prospective elementary mathematics teachers' probabilistic misconceptions and reasons underlying these misconceptions

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2013
İlgün, Münevver
The purpose of this study was to determine performance of prospective elementary mathematics teachers on answering the items handling the probabilistic misconceptions. The other aim was to investigate the underlying reasons behind these misconceptions of prospective elementary mathematics teachers. To address these aims, qualitative approach was performed. The sample of this study was obtained through convenience sampling. Data were gathered during 2011-2012 spring semester by administering Probability Misconception Questionnaire to 12 senior prospective elementary mathematics teachers studying at faculty of education in Sakarya and through semi-structured interviews conducted with those prospective teachers. None of the participants provided correct answers to items addressing misconceptions regarding time axis fallacy and compound event. Furthermore, less than half of the participants provide the correct answer to items handling misconceptions regarding conditional probability, effect of sample size, conjunction fallacy and representativeness. Also, in this study, reasons behind those misconceptions were determined. Particularly, focusing on the first event was found to be a reason underlying time axis fallacy misconception. Also, another reason behind this misconception was misinterpretation of the problem, which also resulted in misconception regarding conditional probability. Furthermore, focusing on the ratio was found to be a reason underlying misconception regarding effect of sample size. Several participants solely focused on the narrative, which lead to misconception regarding conjunction fallacy. Moreover, seeking representativeness in samples was found to be a reason underlying misconception regarding representativeness. Lastly, in this study, it was found that ignoring order of outcomes resulted in misconception regarding compound event.

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Citation Formats
M. İlgün, “An Investigation of prospective elementary mathematics teachers’ probabilistic misconceptions and reasons underlying these misconceptions,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2013.