An Investigation of prospective teachers’ mathematical modelling processes and their views about factors affecting these processes

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2013
Şen Zeytun, Aysel
Researchers have proposed various models to explain mathematical modelling process for different purposes by using different kinds of modelling problems. There has been agreement mainly on that the process basically includes the interplay between the mathematics and reality. Review of the literature shows that there is not enough information about how prospective teachers develop mathematical models while they were engaging in modelling activities by describing the nature of the processes in each stages of modeling in detail or explaining the possible factors affecting these processes. The main aim of this study is to understand how prospective teachers develop models while they were engaging in modelling activities, and their views about the factors that might influence their modelling process. The study was conducted as a part of fourteen week course. Five modelling activities were selected for further analysis. The participants were six prospective teachers who were selected by purposive sampling. The study was designed as a case study. The results showed that PTs modelling consisted of four main stages: understanding the modeling problem, devising a solution plan, performing the plan, and interpreting and verifying the model. The results indicated that several factors impede the modelling processes: exam-oriented education system and insufficient practice with modelling activities, inadequate conceptual understanding, time limitations, grade considerations, and disorganized and unsystematic work. These factors hinder an atmosphere conducive for exploration of modelling activities and cause the prevalence of result-oriented approach with a single modelling cycle.