Research-based guidance and classroom activities for teachers of mathematics

Modelling with uncertainty

Modelling with uncertainty is a theme within reasoning about uncertainty. Links to relevant activities and resources are on the right hand side of this page. 

When presented as a modelling tool, probability can be linked to statistics as when modelling empirical data or making inferences. For example, TinkerPlotsTMallows not only the graphing of data but also its modelling with uncertainty. The model, created using so-called samplers to represent probability distributions, can be executed repeatedly to create data distributions.

The tendency for probability to become increasingly disconnected from the rest of the mathematics curriculum has perhaps been exaggerated by the exploratory data analysis movement, which has sought to avoid the need for probability. The curriculum for 11-18 year olds in its current form arguably does not support the teacher who wants to make probability relevant and meaningful, connected to statistics as a tool for modelling real-world phenomena.