An examination of pre-service teachers’ capacity to create mathematical modeling problems for children
CITATION: Paolucci, C. & Wessels, H. 2017. An examination of pre-service teachers’ capacity to create mathematical modeling problems for children. Journal of Teacher Education, 68(3):330–344, doi:10.1177/0022487117697636.
This study examined preservice teachers’ (PSTs) capacity to create mathematical modeling problems (MMPs) for grades 1 to 3. PSTs created MMPs for their choice of grade level and aligned the mathematical content of their MMPs with the relevant mathematics curriculum. PSTs were given criteria adapted from Galbraith’s MMP design principles to guide their work. These criteria were then used to evaluate the resulting MMPs, leading to findings and implications relevant to two areas—mathematics teacher education, and the design and evaluation of MMPs for young children. Results highlight an inclination toward creating problems for higher grade levels as well as concerns regarding both the PSTs’ proficiency with the curriculum content and their capacity to create MMPs for particular content areas. Findings contribute to an important international conversation about the need for further research and development of resources aimed at supporting the integration of mathematical modeling in early childhood mathematics education.