Modeling as a bridge between real world problems and school mathematics

Mousoulides, Nicholas G. & English, Lyn D. (2012) Modeling as a bridge between real world problems and school mathematics. In Cho, Sung Je (Ed.) 12th International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME-12), 8-15 July 2012, COEX, Seoul, Korea.

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This article argues for an interdisciplinary approach to mathematical problem solving at the elementary school, one that draws upon the engineering domain. A modeling approach, using engineering model eliciting activities, might provide a rich source of meaningful situations that capitalize on and extend students’ existing mathematical learning. The study reports on the developments of 48 twelve-year old students who worked on the Bridge Design activity. Results revealed that young students, even before formal instruction, have the capacity to deal with complex interdisciplinary problems. A number of students created quite appropriate models by developing the necessary mathematical constructs to solve the problem. Students’ difficulties in mathematizing the problem, and in revising and documenting their models are presented and analysed, followed by a discussion on the appropriateness of a modeling approach as a means for introducing complex problems to elementary school students.

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ID Code: 57754
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Modeling, interdisciplinary problems, engineering model eliciting activities, complex problem solving
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Curriculum
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Please consult the authors.
Deposited On: 05 Mar 2013 00:10
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2013 05:30

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