Project Overview


Mathematical Modeling With Cultural and Community Contexts (M2C3) is a project focused on teaching and learning mathematical modeling in diverse elementary classrooms. Mathematical modeling skills are foundational as they connect core mathematical ideas to real world experiences through analysis, representation, interpretation, and revision. Mathematical modeling also supports enduring understandings and practices in mathematics, such as problem solving and generalization.

Furthermore, modeling tasks draw upon a broad range of student abilities that can help enhance learning and engagement for historically underrepresented groups in STEM fields. While mathematical modeling has a strong tradition in secondary education, the increased content of college and career readiness standards requires an introduction to modeling in elementary grades.

Across the three years of the project, M2C3 researchers will iteratively develop and refine a transformative professional development model with cohorts of teachers in Arizona and Washington state who work in high poverty schools with large populations of culturally/linguistically diverse students. In addition, M2C3 researchers will measure the potential for impact of the M2C3 model on mathematics instruction and student learning.


Goal 1

Advance foundational knowledge related to teaching and learning mathematical modeling in grades 3–5, especially with culturally/linguistically diverse elementary students.

Goal 2

Develop, research, and refine an innovative M2C3 professional development model and associated resources to support teacher practice related to mathematical modeling. Specifically, support teachers in designing, adapting, and teaching mathematical modeling lessons that draw on the knowledge and experiences of students and families, and connect to relevant cultural and community contexts.

Goal 3

Develop a set of valid and reliable measures for evaluating teacher and student learning outcomes related to mathematical modeling