Current Project – A Taxonomy of Inquiry

I’ve been really enjoying some conversation around the Twittersphere recently around what inquiry is and what it isn’t. Katenerdypoo wrote a great post about the difference between discovery and investigation, and a ton of others chimed in on Twitter. Reading folks’ thoughts, I felt more and more like there isn’t a great deal of consensus on what inquiry means in a math classroom. I have a habit of organizing my thoughts into lists, and I thought this would be a good place for it.

My goal is to put together a “Taxonomy of Inquiry” — a list of different types of inquiry lessons or activities math teachers use. I don’t want to make value judgments on what is or isn’t good teaching, although I’m curious for others’ thoughts on different topics, and to get more examples of different ideas. My belief is that well-executed student-centered lessons are where the most learning happens, but that means knowing when to choose which questions and activities, and I hope this project will give me some more tools for doing that.

I’m putting my thoughts together in this google doc. It is open for editing — please feel free to jump in and add your thoughts, either adding new categories, examples, or commentary. Hopefully in the next few weeks there will be a useful set of ideas for teachers to build off of and improve their practice.

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