Steven Strogatz' Reflection (Part 2)

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015 - 2:30pm

Dear Colleagues, Friends, & Supporters,

This month, we are excited to feature Part 2 of reflections by Steven Strogatz (Cornell) about using our DAoM materials and inquiry pedagogy in his mathematics for liberal arts class. How will he get students to give IBL a try? How will they respond to being given a problem without being shown a solution? What will be their experiences of making sense of mathematics?

In July, our paths crossed with the PBL (problem based learning) community, thanks to Carmel Schettino's PBL summit. And we were surprised to see how similar our efforts and ideas are. Consider, for example, Carmel’s ideas on assessment of PBL with rubrics that could be used in IBL classes. It looks like IBL and PBL could learn from and support each other.

In July, Volker and Chrissi traveled again to the IBL Workshop at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. It was energizing to support faculty in transforming their classrooms to bring IBL alive, making transformation possible for their mathematics students.

While you are getting ready for your classes next semester, please consider being a beta tester for a chapter or a book of our collection. If you haven’t had a chance yet to use inquiry in your classes, what could help you feel ready to give it a try this coming fall?


Julian Fleron, Phil Hotchkiss, Volker Ecke, & Christine von Renesse.

p.s. In case you have missed it: our website now allows faculty to create a free account and access teacher materials to some of our books. We are working on completing the teacher materials for all the books. Please have a look and tell us what you think.

Steven Strogatz' wrote a blog post about what it was like to be a beginner at teaching through inquiry. This second part contains his experience of teaching a Mathematics Exploration class at Cornell University using ideas from "Discovering the Art of Mathematics":

Last fall, for the first time in my career, I tried a new way of teaching. Instead of lecturing, I gave my students puzzles and questions to explore together in small groups. What happened over the rest of that semester turned out to be the most astonishing, uplifting experience I’ve ever had as a teacher.