A View of Mathematical Modeling in Mathematics Education

Henry Pollak, Sol Garfunkel


Mathematical Modeling is being introduced as a new product into the complex system of Mathematics Education. It has to fit with the existing parts and interfaces in this system. As one example, we will consider the effect of mathematical modeling on the transition from secondary to tertiary education. If mathematical modeling is of greater importance to the planners at one of these two levels of education than at the other, then stresses may result. As a second example, we propose to examine changes in teacher education necessitated by the introduction of mathematical modeling at the secondary level. Ideally, one might wish to prepare teachers to teach mathematical modeling by concentrating purely on modeling without the distraction of new mathematical ideas, but it is not clear that this can always be done. Finally, we plan to make some comments on the effect of mathematical modeling has on the relationship between mathematics education and mathematics itself. Each of these should gain from cooperation with the other.

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