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Pereira-Mendoza, L., Goh, S. L., & Bay, W. F. (2004). Interpreting graphs from newspapers: Evidence of going beyond the data. In L. C. Chew (Ed.), Innovation & enterprise: Education for the new economy: Proceedings for the ERAS Conference (pp. 277-285). Singapore: Educational Research Association.
Two studies were undertaken in primary school to explore how students interpret
graphs taken from The Straits Times. The purpose of the studies was to determine how
the students read, interpret and go beyond the data. In one study 20 Primary 3 students
were interviewed and asked questions about a pictograph and a bar graph with table.
In the other study 24 Primary 5 students were interviewed and asked questions about a
bar graph and a line graph. In each study students were divided into High Ability,
Medium Ability and Low Ability based on the school mathematics performance. An
analysis of the data shows that the majority of students are able to read and interpret
graphs. The students had most difficulty when they are faced with questions involving
"reading beyond the data". Low ability students had more difficulty than other groups.
Even when reading and interpreting the data low ability students tend to be more
limited in their explanations.
This paper was published in the Proceedings of ERAS Conference held in Singapore from 24-26 November 2004
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