Young children's reasoning through data exploration

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter follows the progress of nine high-ability Year 1 Australian students as they develop reasoning skills through data exploration and analysis. The students used self-portraits drawn by child-artists in Kindergarten and Year 3 to develop a rule-based classification model. Students tested their model on larger sets of self-portraits and developed their own illustrations to support the rules-based model. Crucially, seven of the nine students demonstrated advanced mathematical reasoning through analysis of the test findings to inform their judgements regarding the strengths and weakness of the model. Students demonstrated this reasoning through graphical representations, reflective statements and two-way tables. These findings demonstrate the potential of rule-based model building and data analysis to extend the mathematical experiences of mathematically gifted young children.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationForging connections in early mathematics teaching and learning
EditorsVirginia Kinnear, Mun Yee Lai, Tracey Muir
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9789811071539
ISBN (Print)9789811071515
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameEarly mathematics learning and development
ISSN (Print)2213-9273
ISSN (Electronic)2213-9281


  • gifted education
  • statistical reasoning
  • model building
  • data modelling
  • representations
  • classification
  • early years of school

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    Oslington, G., Mulligan, J., & Van Bergen, P. (2018). Young children's reasoning through data exploration. In V. Kinnear, M. Y. Lai, & T. Muir (Eds.), Forging connections in early mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 191-212). (Early mathematics learning and development). Singapore : Springer, Springer Nature.