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Australian Mathematics Teacher, v65 n3 p25-37 2009

A study was undertaken to implement a series of chance games and activities in a Year 7 classroom, and investigate the students' knowledge about probability concepts, as well as their attitudes to chance. Initially, the project involved selecting a set of appropriate learning activities to develop key probability concepts which are integral to the probabilistic thinking framework by Jones, Thornton, Langrall & Tarr (1999). These were randomness, likelihood, sample space, experimental probability, theoretical probability, and independence. This article reports on the "attitudes" aspect of the project. The project investigated the extent to which the "attitudes-behaviour" cycle proposed in the theory of personal action (Ajzen & Fishbein, 2000) applied to students' learning of chance in the classroom. In particular, it was concerned with the strength of the link between learning experiences and attitudes, and with observing and reporting on any changes in attitudes that occurred during the project. Data on students' attitudes were collected before and after the set of learning episodes. The aspects of attitudes considered in the project were enjoyment, motivation, confidence, anxiety, and perceptions about the usefulness of learning about chance. Overall, there was evidence of an improvement in students' attitudes to chance, namely, greater enjoyment and motivation, increased perception of the usefulness of chance, and less anxiety, over the duration of the project. (Contains 3 figures.)

Descriptors: Student Attitudes, Learning Experience, Student Motivation, Probability, Anxiety, Educational Games, Grade 7, Early Adolescents, Knowledge Level, Thinking Skills, Self Esteem, Foreign Countries, Mathematics Instruction

Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail: office[at]; Web site:

Autor: Nisbet, Steven; Williams, Anne


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