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Modelling

At first sight, many modelling activities involve the manipulation of formulae and their subsequent use for calculation; a mathematical model can be used in the first instance to describe a phenomenon and then to predict new information about the phenomenon.  However, the purpose of modelling is to aid thinking about the phenomenon concerned and an essential learning aspect of the modelling process is to forge links between the phenomenon, previously understood principles and the model itself. A model may consist of one formula or a sequence of several interdependent formulae and it is often tested by comparing its calculated data with experimental data. Pupils can use the newly generated data to test theories and knowledge about a phenomenon. A key feature of modelling activity is the process of editing and altering a model or its parameters to study the change of behaviour. Exploring alternative models or diverse versions of models of the same phenomenon helps to develop pupils' understanding.

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