The Potential Power Of Group Work On Mathematical Modeling Activities

One of the primary purposes of teaching mathematics is to train students who see mathematics as a part of their life and solve their problems by using mathematics. However students may have difficulties to combine the mathematical concepts they learned at school and real life problems because of distinctive characteristics of these problems. Therefore mathematical concepts must be supported by different practice alternatives in order to become meaningful for students. Mathematical modeling can be seen in educational programs more frequently as a process in which reflection of mathematical concepts on to real life can be seen easily and as a teaching method. The aim of this study is to examine high school students’ individual and group work in the process of mathematical modeling and reveal the power of mathematical modeling to support the success of the group work activities. The participants of the study consisted of six 11th grade high school students with different levels of success according to their GPA. At the end of the study it is found that modeling activities could be used to develop students' higher-order thinking skills especially in group work. Additionally, during the group work on an activity, the rate of using mathematical knowledge in high level increases and the rate of algebraic error decreases. Also process errors and wrong model configuration which is seen in individual work has been eliminated in group work. Index Terms- Group work, higher order thinking skills, mathematical modeling.