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Building an appreciation of distribution enables students to move from examining individual values to studying aggregates, trends and patterns in data. It enables them to progress from a single distribution to comparing distributions, looking for similarities and differences between populations.

Observations could relate to:

  • skewness
  • symmetry
  • overall spread
  • outliers
  • means
  • medians
  • clumps and gaps.

These expose the variation in the data and the story it tells about the context of the investigation.

Empirical and theoretical

The idea of distribution moves away from individual data values to aggregates that tell stories about variation and point to expectation.