Mapping the structure of knowledge for teaching nominal categorical data analysis

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Citation of Original Publication

Groth, R.E., & Bergner, J.A. (2013). Mapping the structure of knowledge for teaching nominal categorical data analysis. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 83, 247-265.



This report describes a model for mapping cognitive structures related to content knowledge for teaching. The model consists of knowledge elements pertinent to teaching a content domain, the nature of the connections among them, and a means for representing the elements and connections visually. The model is illustrated through empirical data generated as prospective teachers were in the process of developing knowledge for teaching nominal categorical data analysis. During a course focused on the development of statistical knowledge for teaching, the prospective teachers analyzed statistical problems, descriptions of children’s statistical thinking, and related classroom scenarios. Their analyses suggested various types of knowledge structures in development. In some cases, they constructed all knowledge elements targeted in the course. In many cases, however, their knowledge structures had missing, incompatible, and/or disconnected elements preventing them from carrying out recommendations for teaching elementary nominal categorical data analysis in an optimal manner. The report contributes to teacher education by drawing attention to prospective teachers’ learning needs, and it contributes to research on teachers’ cognition by providing a method for modeling their cognitive structures.