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I on the Prize: Inquiry Approaches in Undergraduate Mathematics

  • Sandra L. LaursenEmail author
  • Chris Rasmussen
Article
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Abstract

In the United States (US) and elsewhere across the world, undergraduate mathematics instructors are increasingly aware of the value of inquiry-based instruction. In this research commentary, we describe the intellectual origins and development of two major strands of inquiry in US higher education, offer an explanation for apparent differences in these strands, and argue that they be united under a common vision of Inquiry-Based Mathematics Education (IBME). Central to this common vision are four pillars of IBME: student engagement in meaningful mathematics, student collaboration for sensemaking, instructor inquiry into student thinking, and equitable instructional practice to include all in rigorous mathematical learning and mathematical identity-building. We conclude this commentary with a call for a four-pronged agenda for research and practice focused on learning trajectories, transferable skills, equity, and a systems approach.

Keywords

Active learning Inquiry-based learning Inquiry-based mathematics education Inquiry-oriented instruction Undergraduate mathematics education 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Portions of this work were supported by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education, awards #1347669, #1525077 and #1624639. All findings and opinions are those of the authors and not the National Science Foundation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ethnography & Evaluation ResearchUniversity of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA

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