The Central Limit Theorem in the Sociology Classroom: A Constructivist Approach

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Brigitte Helene Bechtold


To undergraduate students of sociology, and who are required to take at least one course in research methods, understanding of the CLT requires the successful negotiation of a number of hurdles, lack of training in mathematics in general and mathematical statistics in particular, and a sociological aversion to the “bell curve” or normal distribution. This paper critiques the “sweetening” approaches to conduct experiments that construct the Central Limit Theorem in the classroom. It proceeds to outline a simple type of experiment based on a discrete rectangular population distribution, and offers a proof, understandable to sociology undergraduates, of how a discrete rectangular population distribution gives rise to a continuous sampling distribution.


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How to Cite
Bechtold, B. (2018). The Central Limit Theorem in the Sociology Classroom: A Constructivist Approach. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 6(6), 57-66.
Author Biography

Brigitte Helene Bechtold, Central Michigan University

Professor of Sociology at Central Michigan University. 

Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.


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