The development of high school students’ statistical literacy across grade level

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The capacity to interrogate data with critical thinking is a strong predictor of statistical literacy (SL). This data interrogation, from the data consumers’ perspective, incorporates four complex response skills: interpreting, communicating, evaluating, and decision-making, and those skills are strongly supported by students’ appreciation of three interrelated knowledge components (text and context, representation, and statistical-mathematical knowledge). Due to the need to be critical data-information readers, students’ SL should develop during their formal schooling. The aim of this paper was to investigate differences in SL between Indonesian year 9 and year 12 students and between female and male students. The same test was administered to 48 year 9 students (50% females) and 48 year 12 students (50% females) from 16 different schools in Indonesia. Findings revealed that the highest percentage of year 9 and 12 students demonstrated evidence of consistent but non-critical thinking (level 4), suggesting that they exhibited their statistical knowledge but not in critical ways. There were 42% of year 9 students showing limited statistical thinking (levels 1 to 3) compared to 17% of year 12 students. Furthermore, while there were no significant gender differences in students’ SL and its all skills, the study shows significant grade level differences in overall SL as well as in its skills except interpreting. Implications of this study include the development of a framework that provides a coherent assessment of students’ SL from a data consumers’ perspective, along with suggestions for classroom teaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalMathematics Education Research Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Apr 2023


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