NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ847104
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6803
Using a Functional Model to Develop a Mathematical Formula
Otto, Charlotte A.; Everett, Susan A.; Luera, Gail R.
School Science and Mathematics, v108 n6 p228-237 Oct 2008
The unifying theme of models was incorporated into a required Science Capstone course for pre-service elementary teachers based on national standards in science and mathematics. A model of a teeter-totter was selected for use as an example of a functional model for gathering data as well as a visual model of a mathematical equation for developing the mathematical relationship for a Class 1 lever, M1D1=M2D2. In this study, 20 student groups (n=72) collected data using the model in an inquiry-based activity. All groups developed the qualitative relationship, 13 groups developed a correct mathematical formula, 6 groups developed one-half of the relationship (X = mass x distance), and 1 group attempted to develop a procedural relationship. The pre-service elementary teachers used a variety of model types in the activity including visual/pictorial, functional/physical and mathematical-both graphs and formulas. The use of the teeter-totter model as a visual and functional model of a mathematical formula was a factor in developing the mathematical relationship.
School Science and Mathematics Association. Oklahoma State University, 245 Willard, Stillwater, OK 74078. Tel: 405-744-8018; Fax: 405-744-6290; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A