chapter  5
60 Pages

Chance—Precursor to Probability

In many places in the world, probability preceded statistics into the senior school mathematics curriculum. It was seen as part of pure mathematics, a theoretical study based on sample spaces. Theorems were learned and probabilities calculated for events, often requiring formulas for permutations and combinations. It was not necessary to toss a coin or roll a die; in fact, it would have been seen by some as muddying the waters by producing outcomes slightly at variance from the theory. The curriculum reform that brought data handling into the mathematics curriculum also had to address the precursor to theoretical probability and its relationship to data handling.