GCSE Maths Coursework- HANDLING DATA- July 2004

Introduction

In this investigation I will examine how children in different parts of the world travel to school and how easily accessible their schools are. Accessibility will be determined by time taken to travel to school and distance covered. In order to establish a link between time taken and distance covered and how it relates to accessibility, there are a number of factors I need to take into consideration. These are examined more closely in my hypothesis. The two parts of the world I have chosen to examine are England and South Africa. I will make a prediction comparing these two countries after setting out my hypothesis.

Hypothesis

I am trying to find out whether it is easier for children in England to get to school than children in South Africa. In other words, I am determining accessibility for both regions. To do this clearly and precisely, I have decided on three initial methods in order to obtain my evidence.

- Time Taken
- Distance Travelled
- Method Used

I am to find out if children in England take less time to get to school by travelling a shorter distance, over a shorter length of time using various forms of modern transport which are currently not as readily available in many parts of South Africa. This is because England is on the whole more developed and westernized than South Africa.

I have used 3 points in my hypothesis which all relate back to easier accessibility. These are:

1. More people in South Africa walk to school than in England.

2. People in South Africa take longer to get to school than in England (This point also relates to point 1 because walking to school generally takes longer than using any other mode of transport. Therefore, if I find evidence to support Point 1, then Point 2 could well be supported too.)

In this investigation, I will also look at different methods of travel and how long each method takes to enable me to see if walking does take the longest time. This is because the first two points I am trying to prove are linked, in that if one is true, then the other could also be partially true. For example, if the majority of African school children walked to school, then this would also explain why they took the longest time to travel to school. For this part of my investigation I am linking two separate pieces of data which if proven successfully, may establish a link with each other.

If I need to do any further work to develop my investigation, I will take a third factor into account.

3. The further you live the longer it takes to get to school.

I will investigate this area of my hypothesis if I feel my preliminary data needs backing up or more support is needed to extend my hypothesis. Therefore, I will only use this additional factor if the rest of my work is weak in certain areas or perhaps if I need more information than I have already obtained previously in order to support my hypothesis.

Why I think my Hypothesis is True

I think that it is easier for children in England to travel to school than for children in South Africa. There are a number of reasons why I support this statement and I believe I have sufficient evidence for my hypothesis.

- There are a larger number of schools in England with more facilities, therefore children can choose a school nearer to them to attend
- Transport in England is far more modern than that of South Africa. With options of travel which include buses, coaches, cars, trains, bicycles and taxis, these ensure that children living in England get to school in the most efficient way. Although South Africa may have some of these methods as well, it is unlikely that they are as commonly used and widely available than in England.
- Cost- England is a more developed country than South Africa and in terms of money, people in England earn more overall. Therefore, parents of children in England are more likely to be spending large amounts of money ensuring their children get to school safely, whereas in South Africa the cheapest option may often be the only option and consequently not the easiest one.
- South Africa, as mentioned before is less developed than England. Therefore, roads may be less plentiful and their condition may not be as good as those in England.

All these points provide enough evidence for me to investigate my hypothesis thoroughly.

How I will Collect my Data

I will obtain my data from a data collection site called Census at School. From this, I can get a computer generated random sample of 30 people from both England and South Africa. This will provide me with a range of results on distance travelled and time taken to get to school. Once I have obtained the results I will analyse them and work with them in a way which is suitable in proving my hypothesis. Once I have my random sample of 30 people from South Africa and England from the database, I will go about proving my hypothesis.