“Your truth isn't the Truth”: Data activities and informal inferential reasoning

Sarah C. Radke, Rishi Krishnamoorthy, Jasmine Y. Ma, Molly L. Kelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates data activities in an afterschool setting, offering a deeper understanding of the social nature of students’ informal inferences by investigating how informal inferences are negotiated in group interactions, influenced by social norms, and how statistical concepts come into play in learners’ informal inferential reasoning (IIR). Analyses take up a multi-sited orientation to investigate how youth used quantitative and contextual resources during a research activity to make meaning of data and negotiate emergent social tensions. Findings show how data activities that are part of informal inferential reasoning, such as collection, interpretation, generalization, inference, and representation unfolded as social, political, and personal. Implications call for designs for learning that better support working with data and understanding real-world phenomena and sociopolitical issues in ways that leverage youths’ experiences, enabling them to take part in social action as critical community actors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101053
JournalJournal of Mathematical Behavior
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Informal inferential reasoning
  • Mathematics
  • Multi-sited orientation
  • Sociopolitical mathematics learning
  • Statistics education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Applied Mathematics


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