This is the summary of a presentation given at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, January 10-13, 1996, Orlando, Florida.
Mathematical Modeling with Secondary Education Emphasis
The Rocky Mountain Teacher Education Collaborative (RMTEC) is dedicated to the preparation and nurture of pre-service and new teachers. It is one of ten projects funded by the Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation program of the NSF. The project focuses on changing curriculum and instructional methods in math, science and education courses that prospective secondary teachers take. One avenue of meeting these goals has been the development of a course in mathematical modeling. This one semester course emphasizes the learning of mathematics through work on open-ended problems that have no "one correct solution". The problems require the construction of a "proposed method of solution" or "mathematical model". The course is designed to motivate the students' learning of mathematics by having them work in groups of three or four persons on significant and relevant applied problems which require an extended effort on the part of the group to construct and implement a mathematical model of the solution. The problems are chosen so that the students gain knowledge of, and experience using, various areas of mathematics as they put together their mathematical model.
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