Mellor, Judith Mary (1991) A descriptive study of grade four and grade six students' understanding of bar graphs. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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The purpose of this descriptive study was to investigate grade four and grade six students' understanding of the information conveyed by bar graphs. In particular, the effects of various characteristics of familiarity of the graph topic, the arrangement of the data, and scale on students' ability to read, interpret and predict from bar graphs were examined. -- Five elementary schools participated in the study. This resulted in a sample of 121 grade four students and 127 grade six students. Each student was administered a written test designed by the author which consisted of four bar graphs with three questions per graph. On the basis of the written responses, 35 students from grade four and 37 students from grade six were given audiotaped interviews to obtain additional information. The responses for each graph were then categorized, and the major errors were discussed in terms of the frame theory model developed by Davis (1984). -- At least 15 types of errors were documented. While some of these were reading-language and computation errors, the majority were graph-based errors. Four general categories were identified namely: data arrangement, topic, scale, and the fact the information was not shown on the graph. -- Overall, students at both grade levels had little difficulty reading bar graphs, more difficulty interpreting bar graphs, and had major difficulty knowing when prediction from bar graphs was possible. The frequency of reading-language, computation, and particularly scale errors was higher at the grade four level than at the grade six level. However, errors involving pattern arrangements of the data occurred in similar frequencies for both grades and it was concluded that both grade four and grade six students have similar but flawed graph frames.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves 103-105.|
|Department(s):||Education, Faculty of|
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||Graphic methods--Study and teaching (Elementary)|
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