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The teaching and learning of mathematical modelling is an important research field all over the world. In this paper we present a survey of the state-of-the-art on empirical studies in this field. We analyse the development of studies focusing on cognitive aspects of the promotion of modelling, i.e. the promotion of modelling abilities resp. skills, or in newer terminology, modelling competencies. Furthermore, we provide a literature search on the role of empirical research in important mathematics education journals and point out that this topic is only seldom treated in these journals. In addition, Proceedings of the conference series on the teaching and learning of mathematical modelling and applications were analysed in order to identify the role of empirical research in this important series and the kind of topics which are examined. The literature research points out the dominance of case study approaches and cognitively oriented studies compared to studies which used quantitative research methods or focused on affect-related issues. Finally, the papers in this special issue are described and developments and future prospects are identified.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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