Date of Original Version



Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Description

The use of graphs to represent and reason about data is of growing importance in pre-high school mathematics curricula.This study examines middle school students’ skills in reasoning about three graphical representations: histograms, scatterplots and stem-and-leaf plots. Students were asked to interpret graphs, select an appropriate graph type to represent a relationship and to generate graphs. Accuracy levels varied substantially across the three tasks and three graph types. Theoverall pattern of results is largely explained by the varying ease of transfer of student knowledge from a simpler graph type, based on surface similarity.