Pre-service mathematics teachers’ understanding of conditional probability in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Franka Miriam Brückler 1 * , Željka Milin Šipuš 1
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1 Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, CROATIA
* Corresponding Author
EUR J SCI MATH ED, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp. 89-104. https://doi.org/10.30935/scimath/12436
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ABSTRACT

During the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic had a secondary effect of increased media content loaded with mathematical, often probabilistic information (and misinformation). Our exploratory study investigates the probabilistic intuitions, misconceptions, biases, and fallacies in conditional probability reasoning of mathematics teacher candidates in the context of the pandemic. The pre-service mathematics teachers who participated in our study were given a questionnaire with five contextual conditional probability problems, all formulated similarly to media statements often encountered when discussing the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings confirm the previous findings on biases and fallacies related to conditional probability problems with a social context. They were also indicative of several types of errors (both numerical and logical) as more common than expected. Our results also reveal that pre-service mathematics teachers apparently separate the content learned in the classroom from the application of the knowledge in critical examination of the information to which they are daily exposed by the media.

CITATION

Brückler, F. M., & Milin Šipuš, Ž. (2023). Pre-service mathematics teachers’ understanding of conditional probability in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 11(1), 89-104. https://doi.org/10.30935/scimath/12436

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