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Prospective Teachers' Use of Computing Tools to Develop and Validate Functions as Mathematical Models

R. Zbiek
Journal / Anthology

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
Year: 1998
Volume: 29
Issue: 2
Page range: 184-201

This study explored the strategies used by 13 prospective secondary school mathematics teachers to develop and validate functions as mathematical models of real-world situations. The students, enrolled in an elective mathematics course, had continuous access to curve fitters, graphing utilities, and other computing tools. The modeling approaches fell under 4 general categories of technology use, distinguished by the extent and nature of curve-fitter use and the relative dominance of mathematics versus reality affecting the development and evaluation of models. Data suggested that strategy choice was influenced by task characteristics and interactions with other student modelers. A grounded hypothesis on strategy selection and use was formulated.