Mathematical Modeling:
The Core of Core-Plus Mathematics

Core-Plus Mathematics is designed so that students engage in the modeling process and thus engage in the mathematical behaviors identified in the CCSS Mathematical Practices as the primary vehicle for learning the mathematics and statistics elaborated in the CCSS content standards.

Prior to the era of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, many mathematics educators have encouraged learning mathematics through modeling of problems. Problems that engage students in mathematical modeling have the following features and benefits (Dewey, 1929, 1956; Hiebert, Carpenter, Fennema, Fuson, Human, Murray, Olivier, & Wearne, 1996):

  • Problems are identified in context.
  • Problems are studied through active engagement.
  • Conclusions are reached as problems are (at least partially) resolved.
  • The benefits lie not only in the solutions to the problems, but the new relationships that are discovered.

Mathematical modeling in the CCSS for high school mathematics is a conceptual category and is only in the mathematical practices. Although standards are not listed for the mathematical modeling conceptual category, many of the content standards are designated as modeling standards under the other five conceptual categories.

The diagram below describes the modeling process and the mathematical practices engaged in during each phase of the process.

Process of Mathematical Modeling
Connecting Mathematical Practices (MP) and Content Standards (CS) MP1 and MP4 are the overarching focal points of the entire process.

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