Mathematical modeling and its role in mathematics education have been receiving increasing attention in Turkey, as in many other countries. The growing body of literature on this topic reveals a variety of approaches to mathematical modeling and related concepts, along with differing perspectives on the use of mathematical modeling in teaching and learning mathematics in terms of definitions of models and modeling, the theoretical backgrounds of modeling, and the nature of questions used in teaching modeling. This study focuses on two issues. The first section attempts to develop a unified perspective about mathematical modeling. The second section analyzes and discusses two approaches to the use of modeling in mathematics education, namely modeling as a means of teaching mathematics and modeling as an aim of teaching mathematics.