This paper describes the importance of developing students’ reasoning about samples and sampling variability as a foundation for statistical thinking. Research on expert–novice thinking as well as statistical thinking is reviewed and compared. A case is made that statistical thinking is a type of expert thinking, and as such, research comparing novice and expert thinking can inform the research on developing statistical thinking in students. It is also posited that developing students’ informal inferential reasoning, akin to novice thinking, can help build the foundations of experts’ statistical thinking.
- Expert and novice thinking
- Informal inferential reasoning
- Informal statistical inference
- Sampling variability
- Statistical thinking