Analysis of Ninth Grade Mathematics Course Book Activities Based on Model-Eliciting Principles


INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION, vol.16, no.5, pp.985-1002, 2018 (SSCI) identifier identifier


Model-eliciting activities are problem-solving activities that differ from traditional problems as they include non-routine, open-ended, and complicated real-life situations with various solutions (Lesh & Doerr, 2003). According to Lesh, Hoover, Hole, Kelly and Post (2000), a model-eliciting activity must follow certain principles, namely, the model construction, reality, self-evaluation, model externalization (construct certification), model generalization, and effective prototype principles. The aim of this study was to analyze on the basis of these principles the activities in a 9th grade mathematics course book prepared according to Turkey's new curriculum (Ministry of National Education [MoNE], 2013a). Data collection comprised document analysis and the data were analyzed using content analysis. The results showed that 16 out of 73 activities in the course book were model-eliciting activities. Such model-eliciting activities appeared mainly in the "Equations and Inequalities" unit, and none were found in the "Congruency and Similarity of Triangles" and "Right Angled Triangle and Trigonometry; Area of Triangles and Vectors" units. The analysis also showed that none of the model-eliciting activities in the course book followed all the model-eliciting activity principles, and only 5 followed the self-evaluation and model externalization principles partially and the remaining principles fully. As a result, the course book is quantitatively rich, but qualitatively inadequate in terms of principle-based model-eliciting activities. However, certain model-eliciting activities in the course book can be improved into a model-eliciting activity meeting the requirements of all principles. These findings lead to a recommendation that the 9th grade course book be revised in terms of the modeling activities involved.