A commentary on the Special Issue “Innovations in measuring and fostering mathematical modelling competencies”
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionFrejd, P. Vos, P. (2021). A commentary on the Special Issue “Innovations in measuring and fostering mathematical modelling competencies”. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 109, 455-468. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10649-021-10122-4
This is a commentary on the ESM 2021 Special Issue on Innovations in Measuring and Fostering Mathematical Modelling Competencies. We have grouped the ten studies into three themes: competencies, fostering, and measuring. The first theme and the papers therein provide a platform to discuss the cognitivist backgrounds to the different conceptualizations of mathematical modelling competencies, based on the modelling cycle. We suggest theoretical widening through a competence continuum and enriching of the modelling cycle with overarching, analytic dimensions for creativity, tool use, metacognition, and so forth. The second theme and the papers therein showcase innovative ideas on fostering and on the definition and analysis thereof. These reveal the need for a social turn in modelling research in order to capture aspects of student collaboration and agency, as well as tensions in fostering when tasks are derived from real-world scenarios, but socio-mathematical norms come from the (pure) mathematics classroom. The third theme, measuring, and the papers therein offer insights into the challenges of positivist research that aims to develop innovative measurement instruments that are both reliable and valid, particularly in light of student group work, cultural background, and other socio-cultural aspects. Drawing on the three discussions, we go on to make recommendations for further research.