Inquiry as an approach to teaching is being displayed and taught through inquiry in our EMTH class. The approach is proven to be very effective for increasing students understanding, therefore, being taught through inquiry allows me to better grasp the idea of adopting it as a teaching approach. This is because I can experience the effectiveness. Some of the following are examples that have been seen throughout our class.
(1) EMTH Labs- At this designated time, we complete open task as if we were high school students being presented with them. This allows me as a teacher to experience what my students may experience and provides me with a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of inquiry without being lectured as a teacher on the effectiveness of the teaching approach.
(2) Problem Solving Experience- When being presented with this inquiry assignment, it related directly to what Chapman & Heater (2010) mentioned, ““…inquiry-based teaching allows students’ questions and curiosities to drive curriculum, honors previous experience and knowledge, makes use of multiple ways of knowing, and allows for creation or adoption of new perspectives when exploring issues, content, and questions” (p. 448). We could grapple with the idea of assessment, apply it in a familiar context and reflect on our learning process.
Although it takes time to change ways, Brea’s experience outlined that it is possible to transform your approach to teaching. It is important to identify that the “…four-stage process suggests that meaningful change can occur when the process is initiated and rooted in the teacher’s experience based on a tension in self and/or practice that is personal and real to him or her” (p. 456). Learning about inquiry through investigations and guided tasks helped me experience the benefits, frustrations, questions and learning process that I can draw on when attempting to implement it in my practices.
Brea described her change in the way she viewed mathematics as being “…complex and complicated, that it does exist in the world, that it is a ‘living discipline”, that it has bloodlines” (p. 450). This idea she portrays is deeper then then how I identify mathematics as just being a part of the world that we live in now.