Children with mathematical difficulties cope with modelling tasks: what develops?

Ibtisam Abdelhalek Zubi, Irit Peled, Marva Yarden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates the participation and knowledge growth of children with mathematical difficulties as they work in groups with their classmates on a year-long sequence of modelling tasks. It involves observations of a class of 23 fifth graders, 9 of whom were identified as having difficulties in mathematics. All the students worked for 8 months on a sequence of 12 modelling task in heterogeneous groups. The findings show a gradual growth in modelling competencies and mathematical knowledge of the students with mathematical difficulties together with an increase in their contribution to the group. The growth in modelling competencies involved their ability to analyse situations and the growth of mathematical knowledge was evident in offering mathematical ideas during group work and in a better posttest performance. Student reflections indicated their awareness of these changes and of the appreciation of their ideas by their peers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-526
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 19 May 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Modelling tasks
  • mathematical difficulties
  • modelling competencies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Applied Mathematics


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