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A study conducted with 25 Year 6 primary school students investigated the potential for a short classroom intervention to begin the development of a Modelling conception of mathematics on the way to developing a sense of mathematics as a way of thinking about life. The study documents the developmental roots of the cognitive activity, actions and conceptions of both modelling and mathematics that these beginners to modelling displayed. Understanding the conceptions of mathematics that students might hold or be developing and how these can be influenced in early schooling are essential ingredients in any plans for introducing modelling seriously into primary school classrooms. The majority of the students (22/25) were identified as displaying a developing conception of modelling as a way of problem handling. The three other students displayed the developmental roots of a way of understanding the world conception of modelling. These three students also displayed a Modelling conception of mathematics with one showing indications of developing towards a Life conception of mathematics.


School of Education

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Journal Article

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