Though the term ‘mathematical modelling’ has no single definition or perspective, Lesh et al. suggested six principles for productive modelling activities: ‘The reality principle, the model construction principle, the self-evaluation principle, the model-externalization principle, the simple prototype principle and the model generalization principle’. These principles were accepted as essential features to design a mathematical modelling task for middle school students in a spreadsheet environment. The purpose of this study is to identify how conceptualization in calculus arises through modelling activities. We analyzed conceptualization in calculus through a semiotic lens with a post-Piagetian framework on the progress of mathematical thinking and learning. As a result of this research, we confirmed that mathematical modelling promotes conceptualization in calculus and that the spreadsheet environment plays an important role in the primary processes of conceptualization.
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