Research-based guidance and classroom activities for teachers of mathematics

Modelling

Modelling is a theme within functional relations between variables. Links to relevant activities and resources are on the right hand side of this page. 

One of the aims of school mathematics is to enable people to use mathematics in a range of contexts and careers where it is the main tool for understanding processes and patterns involving quantities.

To appreciate a full modelling cycle takes time and experience, but can be started in school by using algebra to express situations that learners already understand so they can see that the algebra is a tool for making predictions in new cases.

In a simple form, algebra can model phone bills and currency conversions. As a more predictive tool, algebra and graphs can map trends. The full modelling experience is to use algebra to describe a situation which has an underlying relationship. There is more about this process in the sections on reasoning from data. In the tasks linked to this theme, we look at some situations where there is an underlying theoretical rule which can be expressed algebraically and graphically. The graph, or the algebra, can then be used to make predictions and compare the effects of changes in parameters.