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School Science and Mathematics

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Mathematical modeling has been highlighted recently as Common Core State Standards for Mathematics [CCSSM] included Model with Mathematics as one of the Standards for Mathematical Practices [SMP] and a modeling strand in the high school standards. This common aspect of standards across most states in the U.S. intended by CCSSM authors and policy makers seems to mitigate the diverse notions of mathematical modeling. When we observed secondary mathematics preservice teachers [PSTs] who learned about the SMP and used CCSSM modeling standards to plan and enact lessons, however, we noted differences in their interpretations and enactments of the standards, despite their attendance in the same course sections during a teacher preparation program. This result led us to investigate the ways the PSTs understood modeling standards, which could provide insights into better preparing teachers to teach mathematical modeling. We present the contrasting ways in which PSTs presented modeling related to their conceptions of mathematical modeling, choices of problems, and enactments over an academic year, connecting their practices to extant research. We consider this teaching and research experience as an opportunity to make significant changes in our instruction that may result in our students enhanced implementation of mathematical modeling.


Accepted version. School Science and Mathematics, Vol. 118, No. 5 (May 2018): 169-178. DOI. © 2018 Wiley. Used with permission.