The academic merits of modelling in higher mathematics education : a case study


Perrenet, J.C. & Adan, I.J.B.F. (2010). The academic merits of modelling in higher mathematics education : a case study. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 22(2), 121-140. In Scopus Cited 0 times.

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Modelling is an important subject in the Bachelor curriculum of Applied Mathematics at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. Students not only learn how to apply their knowledge to solve mathematical problems posed in non-mathematical language, but also they learn to look actively for, or even construct, mathematical knowledge useful for the problem at hand. A detailed analysis of the academic profile of the curriculum is presented, using a framework of competencies and dimensions, developed at this university by the project, Academic Competencies and Quality Assurance (ACQA). The profile is constructed from the perspective of teachers┬┐ ambitions. The research question for the present study is: Are there certain academic characteristics typical for the Modelling Track compared to the characteristics of the other courses in the Eindhoven Bachelor curriculum of Applied Mathematics? The analysis shows that the modelling projects are essential for the development of the designing competencies in the curriculum. Other courses in the curriculum are more intended to develop abstraction capabilities. These results provide supporting arguments for the realistic approach chosen for mathematical modelling education.