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Education Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 5240683, 9 pages
Review Article

What Is Known about Elementary Grades Mathematical Modelling

1University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89154, USA
2Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Valles 08193, Spain

Received 11 April 2016; Revised 24 May 2016; Accepted 5 June 2016

Academic Editor: Shu-Sheng Liaw

Copyright © 2016 Micah S. Stohlmann and Lluís Albarracín. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mathematical modelling has often been emphasized at the secondary level, but more research is needed at the elementary level. This paper serves to summarize what is known about elementary mathematical modelling to guide future research. A targeted and general literature search was conducted and studies were summarized based on five categories: content of mathematical modelling intervention, assessment data collected, unit of analysis studied, population, and effectiveness. It was found that there were three main units of analysis into which the studies could be categorized: representational and conceptual competence, models created, and student beliefs. The main findings from each of these units of analysis are discussed along with future research that is needed.