Project Mission


Project Title: Mathematical Modeling in Secondary Mathematics Education: Preservice and Inservice Teacher Education
 
In general terms, mathematical modeling is the process of mathematizing, interpreting, verifying, revising and generalizing real life situations or complex systems. Mathematical modeling as a pedagogical approach has been identified as a key carrier of reform in mathematics education in many countries.  It has been shown to increase student motivation, provide a context to support important process skills such as mathematical problem solving, reasoning, communication and mathematical connections. Developing students’ mathematical modeling competencies require both appropriate materials (e.g., mathematical modeling tasks, activities, etc.) and teachers who are dedicated and knowledgeable about them. Thus, the purpose of this project is threefold:
 
(i) to develop mathematical modeling tasks and activities that can be used with both secondary school students and pre-service and in-service teacher education programs;
 
(ii) to develop an in-service mathematics teacher professional development program about mathematical modeling and to investigate how the program would affect teachers’ beliefs, knowledge and practices;
 
(iii) to develop an academic course for pre-service mathematics teachers and investigate how the course would affect pre-service teachers’ knowledge, competencies and attitudes in terms of mathematics, mathematical modeling and using mathematical modeling in mathematics education.
 
For the first purpose, 60 modeling tasks were developed for grades 9-12 math curriculum in the light of an extensive and comprehensive literature survey on the topic. These tasks were developed in accordance with grade level objectives, integrating multiple topics and concepts, and connected with other disciplines of knowledge and in tune with Turkish culture and lifestyle. Tasks were developed by pairs of project members and cross-validated to reflect the best principles of design and content validity. During a fieldwork, the tasks were reviewed and implemented in school settings by 6 secondary mathematics teachers. A web-portal housing the modeling tasks developed in the project is available to all parties, i.e. the Ministry, teachers, students, academicians, and interested public (http://matemodel.metu.edu.tr). As a second component of the project, a program for in-service teacher development program to support mathematical modeling competencies was developed, enacted, and evaluated. The program was performed with the participation of 10 secondary mathematics teachers from two high schools for a period of 10 months. In the third component of the project, a mathematical modeling course was developed for pre-service mathematics teachers.  It was piloted and taught as a regular course with 25 preservice mathematics teachers.
 
If you have any inquiries about the Project, please contact Dr. Ayhan Kursat ERBAS.
e-mail: erbas@metu.edu.tr
Phone: +90 312 210 3652
 
 
This project is supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) under grant number 110K250.