My introduction to inquiry was in the form of open ended questions (last semester in my EMATH 300 course). At start it seems to me a very complex idea to grasp, because it has so many layers attached to it. Does it mean a question that can be solved in different ways, does it mean an engaging activity for students or does it mean another instructional method that only involves mathematics exploring. However, class activities and reading response discussions during this course offered me the knowledge to understand that inquiry can mean different things depending on the context or perspective involved. Our class discussions allowed me to think of inquiry as a tree that has a lot of branches but the roots are same. So, my perspective of inquiry is to stick to its roots that are students, students and students and then the branches such as investigation/research, communication, reflection, collaboration, multiple ways of knowing and creation will flourish.
The ideas discussed in the article strongly affirm my beliefs of mathematics teaching and learning. As a mathematics student and teacher, I still believe that math is simple to learn if taught accordingly but I also believe that mathematics teaching should show students the beauty of mathematics. I want my students to understand that it is the beauty of mathematics that enable us to transform the complexities of this world into simple equations, notation and variables. I want my students to recognize that mathematics is not just to look for answers; it can also be the source that provides tools to appreciate the world around us. Looking for patterns, making prediction and deduction is all part of mathematics.
Moreover, teachers are responsible to support a balance between students’ level of thinking and the asked inquiry. Sometimes students’ need a push that allows them to think out of the box, therefore conveying students that, it is their questioning that will drive the process of their learning is now a big part of my instructional approach.