- Effects of the Mathematical Modeling Learning on the Word Problem Solving
- Shin, Hyun-Yong ; Jeong, In-Su ;
- Education of Primary School Mathematics, volume 15, issue 2, 2012, Pages 107~134
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of two teaching methods of word problems, one based on mathematical modeling learning(ML) and the other on traditional learning(TL). Additionally, the influence of mathematical modeling learning in word problem solving behavior, application ability of real world experiences in word problem solving and the beliefs of word problem solving will be examined. The results of this study were as follows: First, as to word problem solving behavior, there was a significant difference between the two groups. This mean that the ML was effective for word problem solving behavior. Second, all of the students in the ML group and the TL group had a strong tendency to exclude real world knowledge and sense-making when solving word problems during the pre-test. but A significant difference appeared between the two groups during post-test. classroom culture improvement efforts. Third, mathematical modeling learning(ML) was effective for improvement of traditional beliefs about word problems. Fourth, mathematical modeling learning(ML) exerted more influence on mathematically strong and average students and a positive effect to mathematically weak students. High and average-level students tended to benefit from mathematical modeling learning(ML) more than their low-level peers. This difference was caused by less involvement from low-level students in group assignments and whole-class discussions. While using the mathematical modeling learning method, elementary students were able to build various models about problem situations, justify, and elaborate models by discussions and comparisons from each other. This proves that elementary students could participate in mathematical modeling activities via word problems, it results form the use of more authentic tasks, small group activities and whole-class discussions, exclusion of teacher's direct intervention, and classroom culture improvement efforts. The conclusions drawn from the results obtained in this study are as follows: First, mathematical modeling learning(ML) can become an effective method, guiding word problem solving behavior from the direct translation approach(DTA) based on numbers and key words without understanding about problem situations to the meaningful based approach(MBA) building rich models for problem situations. Second, mathematical modeling learning(ML) will contribute attitudes considering real world situations in solving word problems. Mathematical modeling activities for word problems can help elementary students to understand relations between word problems and the real world. It will be also help them to develop the ability to look at the real world mathematically. Third, mathematical modeling learning(ML) will contribute to the development of positive beliefs for mathematics and word problem solving. Word problem teaching focused on just mathematical operations can't develop proper beliefs for mathematics and word problem solving. Mathematical modeling learning(ML) for word problems provide elementary students the opportunity to understand the real world mathematically, and it increases students' modeling abilities. Futhermore, it is a very useful method of reforming the current problems of word problem teaching and learning. Therefore, word problems in school mathematics should be replaced by more authentic ones and modeling activities should be introduced early in elementary school eduction, which would help change the perceptions about word problem teaching.