Q&A #19991

Dependent & independent events

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From: Ralph (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Dec 19, 2008 at 18:39:00
Subject: Re: Dependent & independent events

Dear Sandra,

Thank you for writing to T2T.  At the risk of sounding like a politician :),
I'll choose "yes" as my answer :) (don't worry, an explanation is coming)

I think in 8th grade, it's worthwhile for students to understand from a
"definition" point of view what independent events are, and what dependent
events are (e.g.  drawing a card with replacement as an independent event,
drawing a card without replacement as a dependent event) and to understand
why the probabilities don't change with independent events, but do change
with dependent events. However, my guess is that your 8th grade math standard
only includes independent events with respect to students' CALCULATING
theoretical probabilities for different situations, and I would agree that it
makes sense to separate the calculating of theoretical probabilities, doing
independent events in Gr. 8, and dependent events in Gr. 9.  Realize that I
can only guess at the "intent" of the standards you refer to, but that would
be my "read" as to what's intended, and that would be how I would teach it.

Hope this makes some sense, and helps,

 -Ralph, for the T2T service

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