Communities for Mathematics Inquiry in Teaching Network
Announcement: NAMe CHANGE
October 1, 2020
Welcome to our new webpage. Until now we were known as the IBL Communities (IBLC) Network. After much thought, discussion, and careful consideration, the network of leaders of the five established IBLCs unanimously approved a change to the COMmunities for Mathematics Inquiry in Teaching Network, or COMMIT Network. Why did we make the name change? We prepared a document here with the rationale that drove this big decision.
As part of the change in name, the leaders of the IBLCs in our network also crafted and unanimously approved a set of shared principles. If you have a group that is interested in building your own COMMIT community, please take a look at our shared principles statement: click here or find the appropriate tab in the menu at the top of your screen.
Note that many COMMIT communities are still temporarily using IBLC as part of their names, but will be updating that in the near future to better reflect our constituents.
A regional COMmunity for Mathematics Inquiry in Teaching (COMMIT) is a local group of college math instructors interested in practicing and disseminating teaching and learning techniques centered on student inquiry. These communities aim to provide evidence-based support mechanisms, through professional development, mentoring, and collaborations, to help members sustainably transform their teaching. COMMIT communities provide ongoing access to professional development without the need of a plane ticket to a national conference or workshop. Each community is in a better position to understand the needs of instructors of the local region than a national organization can be, thus allowing for a grassroots route to bringing an inquiry experience to every student. Our local communities of practitioners develop trusting relationships, forming a community of transformation in which participants are comfortable sharing not only their successes in teaching but also their challenges.
There are many terms used to describe approaches to the teaching and learning of mathematics that are based on student inquiry. Two of the major strands that informed the first communities in our network are the practice-focused tradition of Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL), and the theory-focused tradition of Inquiry-Oriented Instruction (IOI), both of which are represented in our communities. Their common goals are often summarized by the four pillars: instructors foster equity in their design and facilitation choices; students have opportunities to engage deeply with rich mathematics; students have opportunities to collaborate in making sense of that mathematics; and instructors inquire into student thinking. (For more, see Laursen, S.L., Rasmussen, C. I on the Prize: Inquiry Approaches in Undergraduate Mathematics. Int. J. Res. Undergrad. Math. Ed. 5, 129–146 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40753-019-00085-6). There are many other names for mathematics instruction with approaches that are aligned with these principles; and thus there are instructors with a variety of backgrounds and starting points who have found value in membership and participation in these communities. Some of these approaches include problem-based learning, student-centered teaching, active learning, ambitious teaching, discovery learning, process-oriented guided inquiry learning, complex instruction, and culturally responsive teaching.
Each COMMIT community is part of the COMMIT Network. This network brings together the leadership teams of all the communities under one loose structure. Representatives from each community in the network meet multiple times each year to share successes, present opportunities, and discuss challenges. This network also provides an organizational structure to identify and pursue common goals within the greater COMMIT movement. For more information on the NSF project which is currently supporting and studying these communities, view the NSF Project tab.
Statement on Anti-racism
July 2, 2020
Our NSF-sponsored project leadership team has compiled a COMMIT Network statement on anti-racism. To read the statement, click here or find the appropriate tab in the menu at the top of your screen.
Current Commit Communities
Coalescing COMMIt communities
North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia
New York City Metro Area
South Central Texas
Contact COMathInquiry@gmail.com if you would like to be connected with the leadership team of any of the above coalescing COMMIT Communities, or if you'd like your community to be added to this list. We aim to grow our network to cover the United States, and we already have participation within Canada.
Current and Coalescing COMMIT communities
COMMIT Community EVENTS
Check out our calendar for events of interest to those in the regions that are currently part of our network. This calendar includes our Network of COMMIT Communities events in the default color, as well as contributing events from each of our regions in alternate colors.
If you have events that should be of interest to one of our regions, please contact a member of the leadership team from that region. If you would like us to share your region's entire Google Calendar with this national calendar, please contact COMathInquiry@gmail.com.
Check out our twitter feed for news about COMMIT Network and let us know what you think by tweeting with #COMathInquiry and/or to @COMathInquiry
Resources for COMMIT COMMUNITIES
Check out our Resources page, through the menu at the top of your screen. It contains articles about COMMIT Networks, information for those wishing to create a COMMIT Community, and resources for leadership teams of existing COMMIT Networks.
Are you in a place where you don't know enough mathematics educators using inquiry techniques to be confident starting a community? Add yourself to a national list of interested people. We’ll help network you with others in your region once there is a quorum.
We currently have funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF-DUE #1925188) to support and study eight particular communities. As part of this project we are providing financial support for activities and collaborations in those regions, and we are developing a toolkit with effective practices to create a regional community of practice. For more details on this, click the NSF Project page in the menu at the top of your screen.
In addition, the Initiative for Mathematics Learning By Inquiry foundation (MLI) has historically provided some small grants of about $2000 to kickstart regional community initiatives. Please contact them for questions about the status and availability of these small grants.
If you're interested in establishing a collaboration with us, please contact COMathInquiry@gmail.com. We are especially interested in establishing partnerships with national or regional groups involved in inquiry-oriented instruction, problem-based learning, student-centered teaching, active learning, ambitious teaching, discovery learning, process-oriented guided inquiry learning, complex instruction, or culturally responsive teaching.