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Teachers’ conceptions of mathematical modelling at Swedish Upper Secondary school
Linköping University, Department of Mathematics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2011 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Researchers argue that teachers’ conceptions (beliefs) about mathematical modelling have an impact on the low integration of modelling activities into the mathematics classroom. This paper presents a case study of 18 teachers, investigating their conceptions about mathematical modelling and their experiences of working with modelling activities in Swedish upper secondary school. The results, based on an analysis with a grounded theory inspired coding strategy, indicate that the teachers’ conceptions of the notion mathematical modelling relates to designing a mathematical model based on a situation. It is also concluded that the teachers have only minor experience of the notion of mathematical modelling in the mathematics class, but in physics class modelling is used as a common activity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 34 p.
Series
LiTH-MAT-R, ISSN 0348-2960 ; 2011:4
National Category
Mathematics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-66303OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-66303DiVA: diva2:403168
Available from: 2011-03-11 Created: 2011-03-11 Last updated: 2011-03-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mathematical modelling in upper secondary school in Sweden: An exploratory investigation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mathematical modelling in upper secondary school in Sweden: An exploratory investigation
2011 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The official curriculum guidelines for upper secondary school in Sweden emphasise the use of mathematical models and mathematical modelling in mathematics education. However, no explicit definitions or descriptions of the notions are given in the curriculum. This licentiate thesis is an exploratory study which investigates teachers’ and students’ conceptions of the notion of mathematical modelling as well as their attitudes and experiences of working with mathematical modelling in mathematics classrooms. One experience of mathematical modelling that faces both students and teachers which is investigated is the national course tests in mathematics.

The thesis includes five papers and a preamble, where the papers are summarised, analysed, and discussed. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are being used in the thesis and theoretical aspects concerning mathematical modelling and conceptions are examined.

The results indicate that mathematical modelling plays a minor role in the investigated mathematics classrooms. The students as well as the teachers were not familiar with the notion of mathematical modelling. Only 23% of the 381 students and 50 % of the 18 teachers had heard the notion before participating in the study. Both teachers and students participating in this study expressed a variety of different interpretations of the notion of mathematical modelling. Negative attitudes were expressed by the students as well as by some of the teachers concerning mathematical modelling. These negative attitudes may present obstacles for implementing mathematical modelling in the upper secondary mathematics classroom. However, these negative attitudes are related to the used test items, which may have had a negative impact on the research, especially, as the test items only test parts of the modelling process. One dominant conception found among the teachers was that mathematical modelling is related to physics or chemistry. The conclusion made from the investigation about national course tests in mathematics course D, is that there is a lack of holistic assessment of mathematical modelling. Intra-mathematical aspects of mathematical modelling are put in favour for extra-mathematical aspects.

Researchers argue that if we want develop students’ modelling competency, than modelling has to be explicitly used and practised in the mathematics classrooms. However, for the Swedish upper secondary school this study concludes that this is not the case. A suggestion for future research is to focus on mathematical modelling in teacher education and design studies of incorporation of modelling activities into mathematics classrooms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2011. 72 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1471Studies in Science and Technology Education, ISSN 1652-5051 ; 37
National Category
Mathematics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-66304 (URN)978-91-7393-223-3 (ISBN)
Presentation
2011-03-22, 10:15 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-03-11 Created: 2011-03-11 Last updated: 2016-11-30Bibliographically approved

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Frejd, Peter

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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