How high is the tramping track? Mathematising and applying in a calculus model-eliciting activity

Caroline Yoon, Tommy Dreyfus, Michael O.J. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Two complementary processes involved in mathematical modelling are mathematising a realistic situation and applying a mathematical technique to a given realistic situation. We present and analyse work from two undergraduate students and two secondary school teachers who engaged in both processes during a mathematical modelling task that required them to find a graphical representation of an anti-derivative of a function. When determining the value of the anti-derivative as a measure of height, they mathematised the situation to develop a mathematical model, and attempted to apply their knowledge of integration that they had previously learned in class. However, the participants favoured their more primitive mathematised knowledge over the formal knowledge they tried to apply. We use these results to argue for calculus instruction to include more modelling activities that promote mathematising rather than the application of knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-157
Number of pages17
JournalMathematics Education Research Journal
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

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