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Preliminary Announcement for SRTL-9


The Ninth International Research Forum on Statistical Reasoning, Thinking, and Literacy (SRTL-9) will be held from 26 July 2015 to 1 August 2015 at the Waldhotel Nachtigall in Paderborn - Schloss Neuhaus, Germany. The conference theme will focus on “Reasoning about Models and Modelling in the Context of Informal Statistical Inference.” The local organizers are Rolf Biehler (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Daniel Frischemeier (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), and Susanne Podworny (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) from the University of Paderborn, Germany.
Expressions of interest should be submitted before 1 September 2014 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Participation in the SRTL Forum can be as a presenter or as a discussant. 
Presenters are asked to send a brief letter of introduction of yourself and a two-page overview of the work relevant to the theme of the Forum. The overview should include a brief introduction, literature review and/or theoretical framework, methodology, expected results, and your practical and theoretical contribution to the theme.
Discussants are experienced SRTLers who will actively participate in all sessions and discussions and will have time to share their own reflections and comments in a panel on the concluding day. Discussants are asked to send a brief letter with a formal expression of interest.
The SRTL-9 Forum will build on and expand the work discussed at previous SRTL gatherings. Our previous work has focused on reasoning about “big statistical ideas” such as data, variability, distribution (aggregate view of data), informal statistical inference, context, samples and sampling, and more recently uncertainty. Our discussions suggest that further ideas and pedagogical approaches related to models and modelling are relevant and important to study to allow us to better integrate and/or extend previous work in the context of reasoning about informal statistical inference (ISI). Furthermore, modelling has been suggested as a possible bridge between topics. Recent developments in technology such as Tinkerplots 2 can support integrating exploratory data analysis approaches and probabilistic models, which allow for experimentation (e.g., improving models, simulations) and generation of data (e.g., drawing samples from a model) for learning informal inferential reasoning.
Models are relevant and important at all levels of schooling. However, we are aware also that as Graham wrote in 2006, “one of the most overworked words in statistics education and mathematics education is ‘model’. Appearing in a variety of dissimilar contexts, its usage is at best unclear, and at worst, inappropriate”. Therefore we exclude issues such as “mental models”, and invite focused contributions that study one or more of the following questions in relation to statistics education:
* Why bring models and modelling into the research and practical arenas at all (e.g., what are philosophical, historical, epistemological and/or practical reasons for introducing models and modelling in statistics education research? how is mathematical modelling the same and/or different than statistical modelling?)
* According to G. Box some models are useful: What are the utilities and purposes of model and modelling? what is a model / modelling for?
* How does reasoning about models and modelling develop in the context of learning to make ISIs from data?
* What are rudimentary ideas of models and modelling and how are they expressed among young students? (e.g., what is a model? what does it mean to model?)
* How are ideas related to models and modelling understood and used by students in making ISIs? (e.g., what ideas are needed to understand and use models? what does it mean “to understand a model?”)
* What are innovative tasks, tools, or sequences of instructional activities that may be used to help these ideas emerge?
* How can technology help to develop students’ reasoning about models and modelling in the context of making ISI?
* What are ways to assess reasoning about models and modelling?
* What new approaches can be used to help teachers develop students’ reasoning about models and modelling?
* What new ideas and considerations regarding models and modelling have or will emerge as a result of prevailing trends in the discipline of statistics (e.g., computation, exceedingly large data sets, Bayesian analysis, etc.)?
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