Instructional Practices for Mathematical Modeling
Mathematical modeling has been highlighted in education more than ever in the U.S. since the authors of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics included modeling in the standards. The new expectations for all K-12 students to learn about modeling raised questions about how teachers are prepared to learn about the standards and perform instructional practices related to modeling. My dissertation describes pre-service and in-service teachers’ instructional practices for modeling in three studies. Data sources include secondary pre-service teachers’ lesson plans, reflections, and their university supervisors’ observation forms for student teaching, collected from three consecutive mathematics education courses. For the second and third studies, audio-recordings of interviews with two teachers, video-recordings of lesson implementation, researcher’s field notes and journals, and student work were collected. The first study describes how pre-service teachers integrated standards related to modeling into their instructional practices. The second study demonstrates how two in-service teachers’ understanding of students’ ability to engage with the modeling cycle changed as they engaged in collaborative instructional practices. The final study shows how an in-service teacher and a researcher collaboratively performed their roles as they implemented modeling activities throughout in-situ professional development. These three studies provide insights into possible pedagogical approaches for implementation of standards related to modeling, teaching strategies that help students successfully solve modeling problems, and the unique roles of the teacher and the researcher when collaborating as partners in a mathematics classroom.
Lesh, Purdue University.
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