CONTEMPORARY MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE EDUCATION
Pre-service Teachers’ Perceptions of and Knowledge for Mathematical Modelling in Ghana

Ebenezer Bonyah 1 * , Lauren Jeneva Clark 2

Contemporary Mathematics and Science Education, Volume 3, Issue 1, Article No: ep22011

https://doi.org/10.30935/conmaths/11932

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Abstract

Mathematical modelling, in general, improves problem-solving skills and can lead to innovation. Using an explanatory sequential mixed method approach, this study considered West African pre-service teachers’ concepts of mathematical modelling as they tried to solve modelling-type application problems. The study was conducted in selected tertiary institutions in Ghana to determine pre-service teacher preparedness for teaching mathematical modelling at secondary schools. Modelling-type tasks were given to 30 undergraduate pre-service mathematics teachers who had completed several content courses. After attempting these tasks, questionnaires elicited further information about their views of and familiarity with modelling. A careful analysis of the written responses revealed that the majority understood some basic ideas of modelling. However, four of the respondents demonstrated minimal understanding of mathematical modelling concepts, and those four were interviewed about their perceptions. Analysis of the four selected pre-service secondary math teachers’ written responses revealed both conceptual and procedural errors, and the interviews revealed that they had little familiarity with the mathematical modelling. Authors suggest that modelling should be part of the West African senior high school mathematics curriculum to build confidence and capabilities among students, who are next generation’s teachers, and this will generatively propagate economic development.

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