24 SES 12, The Meta-Curriculum in Mathematics: The Aspiration, Occurrence and Promotion of Higher-Order Thinking in Mathematics Classrooms Internationally
From earlier research (Aizikovitsh-Udi, 2012), it appears possible to develop both statistical and critical thinking in the same classroom context and even in the same lesson. This presentation reports an exploratory qualitative study undertaken into thinking processes when working on tasks drawing on both areas. The provision of an empirical foundation for the connection between statistical thinking and critical thinking would advance the potential realization of the meta-curricular emphasis on higher-order thinking by raising the possibility that meta-curricular goals could be achieved through strategic use of appropriate domain-specific tasks. The tasks used in this exploratory study have certain distinctive characteristics: each uses a “real-world” situation as its “figurative context”; each provides succinct statistical information relevant to that context; the problem is stated very simply; some form of evaluation is integral to the problem; the task affords many reasoning approaches. The exploratory study demonstrates that connections clearly exist between Statistical Thinking and Critical Thinking at the level of individual reasoning practices. We argue that suitable tasks can stimulate the use, promotion and development of both Statistical Thinking and Critical Thinking and thereby realize the goals of the meta-curriculum together with conventional content-oriented goals.
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