Inquiry in University Mathematics Teaching and Learning
The book presents developmental outcomes from an EU Erasmus+ project involving eight partner universities in seven countries in Europe. Its focus is the development of mathematics teaching and learning at university level to enhance the learning of mathematics by university students. Its theoretical focus is inquiry-based teaching and learning. It bases all activity on a three-layer model of inquiry: (1) Inquiry in mathematics and in the learning of mathematics in lecture, tutorial, seminar or workshop, involving students and teachers; (2) Inquiry in mathematics teaching involving teachers exploring and developing their own practices in teaching mathematics; (3) Inquiry as a research process, analysing data from layers (1) and (2) to advance knowledge inthe field. As required by the Erasmus+ programme, it defines Intellectual Outputs (IOs) that will develop in the project. PLATINUM has six IOs: The Inquiry-based developmental model; Inquiry communities in mathematics learning and teaching; Design of mathematics tasks and teaching units; Inquiry-based professional development activity; Modelling as an inquiry process; Evalutation of inquiry activity with students. The project has developed Inquiry Communities, in each of the partner groups, in which mathematicians and educators work together in supportive collegial ways to promote inquiry processes in mathematics learning and teaching. Through involving students in inquiry activities, PLATINUM aims to encourage students` own in-depth engagement with mathematics, so that they develop conceptual understandings which go beyond memorisation and the use of procedures. Indeed the eight partners together have formed an inquiry community, working together to achieve PLATINUM goals within the specific environments of their own institutions and cultures. Together we learn from what we are able to achieve with respect to both common goals and diverse environments, bringing a richness of experience and learning to this important area of education. Inquiry communities enable participants to address the tensions and issues that emerge in developmental processes and to recognise the critical nature of the developmental process. Through engaging in inquiry-based development, partners are enabled and motivated to design activities for their peers, and for newcomers to university teaching of mathematics, to encourage their participation in new forms of teaching, design of teaching, and activities for students. Such professional development design is an important outcome of PLATINUM. One important area of inquiry-based activity is that of “modelling” in mathematics. Partners have worked together across the project to investigate the nature of modelling activities and their use with students. Overall, the project evaluates its activity in these various parts to gain insights to the sucess of inquiry based teaching, learning and development as well as the issues and tensions that are faced in putting into practice its aims and goals.
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