Frequentist probability in Japanese school curricula

Koji Otaki


Many Japanese school mathematics teachers, policy-makers and researchers believe that probabilistic contents are difficult for most students to understand. In this study, I identify several reasons for the difficulty through an ecological analysis that is a part of a didactic analysis. This task is achieved through three research techniques: (a) constructing a reference epistemological model of probabilistic activities in terms of praxeology, (b) analysing probabilistic contents of Japanese school mathematics textbooks from the reference model and (c) identifying institutional conditions and constraints on the contents using the scale of levels of didactic codetermination. In current Japanese school mathematics, frequentist probability is hardly mentioned, whereas Laplacian probability comprises a large part of the curriculum of probability, although some generic conditions make the frequentist probability viable. This fact is related to the following three constraints: determinationism, theoricism and demathematisation of randomiser.


Frequentist probability; Japanese school curricula

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