ERIC Number: EJ1150556
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Mathematical Modeling: Are Prior Experiences Important?
Czocher, Jennifer A.; Moss, Diana L.
Mathematics Teacher, v110 n9 p654-660 May 2017
Why are math modeling problems the source of such frustration for students and teachers? The conceptual understanding that students have when engaging with a math modeling problem varies greatly. They need opportunities to make their own assumptions and design the mathematics to fit these assumptions (CCSSI 2010). Making these assumptions is part of an interpretative process (NCTM 2000) that depends on students' prior experiences. Furthermore, students have different life and classroom experiences that can lead to distinct (but acceptable) mathematical models. This article will illustrate some challenges to teaching mathematical modeling in the classroom: (1) how to engage students in mathematical modeling; (2) respond to different answers; and (3) take into account that students draw on their realistic experiences. When students produce answers that originate from their unique perspectives, those answers might seem wrong at first but may be valid.
Descriptors: Mathematical Models, Problem Solving, Mathematics Instruction, High School Students, Mathematical Logic, Algebra, Secondary School Mathematics, Prior Learning, Teaching Methods
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-9840; Fax: 703-476-2570; e-mail: NCTM@nctm.org; Web site: http://www.nctm.org/publications/mathematics-teacher/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Grade 9; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Grade 12; Grade 10
Authoring Institution: N/A