Purpose and Plan
Before setting out to form a COMMIT community it can be important to identify your purpose and aims in doing so. While much less formal than an official mission or vision statement, it can serve a similar purpose in helping you make decisions, set priorities, communicate about your community, and guide your structure.
This section has few direct answers, but will pose a lot of questions for you to consider as you get started. These questions are not just rhetorical; we encourage you to come up with preliminary answers to these questions before moving on, and to come back to them regularly.
These questions could make a good brainstorming session for a new leadership team. We've provided two templates preloaded with these questions:
Reflect on Challenges and Opportunities
What challenges do you perceive new and continuing inquiry practitioners are facing in your region?
What opportunities for growth and professional development are there for folks at different stages and kinds of interests?
Reflect on Purpose and Plan
What purpose would a COMMIT community in your region serve?
What kinds of events would it hold or organize?
Think ambitiously: what aspirational components would you hope to include in your community?
The articles below describe how two different COMMITs came into being. They illustrate two possible paths to a community, and the possibilities of goals and guiding principles underlying such a community.
Cushman, J. R., Gantner, R., George, C. Y., Morrow, M. L., & Rault, P. X. (2018). A Model for Expanding Active Learning Regionally: The Greater Upstate New York Inquiry-Based Learning Consortium. PRIMUS, 28(8), 754-771.
Ecke, Volker & von Renesse, Christine (July 8, 2020). Supporting an IBL Community & The Story of New England. Discovering the Art of Mathematics Faculty Blog.
Think of these as initial visions and be open to evolution and change. As you read through the rest of the toolkit, come back to these questions.
Year 1: Identify initial activities for the first year and an organizer for each of them
Year 2: What are some longer term goals?
Where do you see the community in 5 years?
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Starting Principles and Questions
One of the Shared Principles of COMMIT communities is that each COMMIT community works to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in college mathematics teaching. This includes both
making the community itself diverse and inclusive, and
including a focus on equitable and inclusive teaching in workshops, discussions, and projects sponsored by the community.
As you begin to plan your community, consider these reflective questions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in your community:
What faculty are you trying to reach with this community?
What barriers are there to inclusivity within your community?
How can you tear down those barriers?
What role could your COMMIT play in making mathematics, in general, more inclusive?