Steven Strogatz: Teaching Through Inquiry - A Beginner's Reflections I

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Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 6:05pm

Dear Colleagues, Friends, & Supporters,

This month, we are excited to feature Part 1 of reflections by Steven Strogatz (Cornell) about using our DAoM materials and inquiry pedagogy in his mathematics for liberal arts class. He writes:

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.

In Part 1, Steve shares how he learned about this project and what helped him feel ready to “take the plunge”. Next month, in Part 2, you can find out how his students responded to the experience.

What have been your experiences with our materials and techniques in your classroom? Please consider writing a review of the materials, or submitting a beta-test report. 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?

To give you a choice of up-to-date and tested curriculum materials, our library of eleven books will receive additions and substantial updates this summer. To support your practices of teaching using inquiry, we have assembled important tools and techniques in our online e-book "Discovering the Art of Teaching and Learning Mathematics Using Inquiry”, which is now just about complete. For questions you don’t find addressed in our materials, please send us email. We want to learn what’s in the way so we can fully support you.

Julian and Phil will be the key note speakers at the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) summit at Deerfield Academy, MA July 16-19. Please come join us for this wonderful event!


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

Steven Strogatz Teaching

Steven Strogatz writes about what it was like to be a beginner at teaching through inquiry. This blog contains his impressions of the "Discovering the Art of Mathematics" workshop held at Cornell University in summer 2014:
"This experience gave me powerful insight into what it must be like for students in an IBL classroom. It made me realize the importance of providing a safe and nurturing space for the math explorers I was about to start working with in just a few days."