The University of Montana
Department of Mathematical Sciences

Technical report #5/2007

Tracing studentsí modelling processes in elementary and secondary school

Nicholas Mousoulides
Department of Education, University of Cyprus

Bharath Sriraman
Department of Mathematical Sciences, The University of Montana

Marios Pittalis, Constantinos Christou
Department of Education, University of Cyprus


This study examines 6th and 8th grade studentsí mathematization processes as they worked a mathematical modelling problem. Students participated in four 40 minute sessions for deciding on the best city to live in among a number of different cities. In the present study we report on an analysis of the mathematization processes and developments of two groups of students, one 6th and one 8th grade, as they worked the problem, with special emphasis on the similarities and differences between the two groups. Results provide evidence that students developed the necessary mathematical constructs and processes to actively engage and solve the problem through meaningful problem solving. Both groups of students set hypotheses, evaluate, modify and refine their models. Among the differences between the two groups, 8th grade students were involved in higher level of mathematical communication, projected and effectively employed higher order mathematical concepts and processes and reached better and more refined solutions.

Keywords: cognitive processes; mathematical modelling ; teaching and learning

Pre-print of: Mousoulides, N., Sriaman, B., et al (2007). Tracing studentsí Modelling processes in elementary and secondary school. Proceedings of the 5th European Congress on Mathematics Education (CERME5), Larnaca, Cyprus, Feb.21-27, 2007.

AMS Subject Classification: 97

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