In math classes at the Summit, we aspire to use problem-based/inquiry learning. Research suggests that students need to take an active part in learning and spend most of math class doing math in order to learn it best. By presenting students with problems to solve, encouraging them to use their prior knowledge, and guiding them with questions and learning goals, students gain a deeper understanding of the math they are learning. By doing math in this way we can be responsive to students learning in real-time, slowing down or speeding up as demonstrated by students’ understanding, rather than exclusively dictated by the pacing guide of the curriculum. A growth mindset is vital for this type of learning to occur. We encourage students that struggle is valuable, mistakes spur on new learning, and to be a math person, you need to be a person and do math. As this mindset grows students are more willing to try new things and see challenges as beneficial.
In an effort to encourage this type of learning, Integrated Math and Algebra 1 are using methods outlined in Building Thinking Classrooms by Peter Liljedahl. Here is a summary of his research.
For more information about problem-based learning, here are some resources: