AuthorGentle, Adrian P.
AffiliationUniversity of Southern Indiana
TitleAn Inquiry-Based Approach to Teaching Introduction to Proof
MetadataShow full item record
In recent years I have become increasingly dissatisfied with the depth of engagement and student learning in my classes. As a result, in fall 2016 I implemented an inquiry-based learning (IBL) approach to teaching introduction to proof, a required course for mathematics majors which aims to introduce students to careful mathematical reasoning and transition them away from an algorithmic view of mathematics. IBL engages students in guided discovery, and in this talk I describe my transition to this evidence-based, student-centered approach. Rather than follow a traditional textbook, students work through carefully sequenced notes which contain key definitions and statements of important theorems, and students are required to construct proofs and solve non-trivial problems. Class time is spent with students presenting their work on the board, or working in small groups, with students responsible for building understanding through discussion and questioning. A significant increase in student engagement and community was observed in the first semester of the IBL class. I will discuss what worked and what did not, and argue that a transition to evidence-based teaching not only benefits students, but provides instructors with an opportunity to revitalize their classrooms.