The Inquiry Based Learning community in US college mathematics education has an annual meeting, called the Legacy of RL Moore conference. This meeting started as a memorial to RL Moore, who taught using a very demanding form of student-centered learning at the University of Texas for many years. Lately, the meeting has broadened scope, and it now serves as a meeting place for anyone interested in using inquiry based learning techniques in mathematics classrooms.
I went to three of these (2008, 2009, 2010), and then had to miss a few due to a conflict. This year I got to return. I am so glad. (Cue Cream playing in the back of your head.) I gave a talk about some of my assessment efforts in IBL Euclidean Geometry.
I got the chance to talk with lots of other IBL practitioners and make lots of new friends. In particular, I started thinking about linear algebra again. This won’t be a surprise to regular readers, I know.
One highlight was getting to talk with David Pengelley from New Mexico State University about using original historical sources in teaching mathematics. I have already done this in some small way by using Euclid in my geometry course. I will likely think about doing this a bit more intentionally. But I will definitely think hard about how I might use original sources in some of my other courses, especially Differential Geometry and Linear Algebra. (Yet again, linear algebra is all things to all people, and it is almost all things to me.)
Another interesting thing I did was attend a short workshop run by Phil Hotchkiss and Julian Fleron on the Westfield State Discovering the Art of Mathematics project and materials for teaching liberal arts mathematics. If I didn’t have a requirement to teach probability and statistics stuff in my liberal arts mathematics courses, I would just steal several of their books to teach the next few iterations of my course. I might still use some of their materials.
So… I am all fired up. I have some adjustments to make for my courses in the fall.