Research and articles


Mathematics Teaching 281, May 2022

In Building an inclusive community of mathematical inquiry, Hollie Walton and Andrew Blair argue that inquiry classrooms are equitable classrooms.

Hollie and Andrew discussed the article with MT editor Tony Cotton for a podcast. They also ran a workshop at the Mixed Attainment Maths conference in London (UK) in July 2022.

Building an inclusive community of inquiry 2022 (4)

The relationship between inquiry and instruction

(Mathematics Teaching 277, 2021) Andrew Blair discusses the relationship between inquiry and instruction in two models of educational psychology.

Planning and unplanning mathematical inquiry

(Mathematics Teaching 271, 2020) Andrew Blair considers the detailed planning in preparation for inquiry and an openness to ‘unplanning’ in the moment of inquiry.

Inquisitive about inquiry? Loaded with cognitive load?

(Mathematics Teaching 270, 2020) Mike Ollerton, Jude Stratton and Anne Watson on the limitations of cognitive load theory and the forms of thinking promoted by inquiry.

Capturing mathematical curiosity with notice and wonder

(Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 24(7), 2019) Aaron M. Rumack and DeAnn Huinker explain how the Notice and Wonder Routine promotes a culture of sense making.

Models for teaching mathematics revisited

(Mathematics Teaching 268, 2019) Andrew Blair and Helen Hindle contrast the 'path-smoothing' small steps approach to 'challenging' inquiry and student-led learning.

Inquiry Maths: an idea whose time has come

(Mathematics Teaching 240, 2014) Andrew Blair looks at the nature of inquiry and shows how it is compatible with the inductive and deductive nature of mathematics.

Inquiry in Mathematics Education

(2012) Artigue and Baptist lay out the theoretical model of the EU-funded Fibonacci Project in this booklet.

Getting Started with Student Inquiry

(2011) A summary of the roles of student and educator in the inquiry classroom.

Effective Questioning and Responding in the Mathematics Classroom

(2010) John Mason on developing a conjecturing atmosphere.

Inquiry Teaching

(Mathematics Teaching 211, 2008) Andrew Blair discusses how the Inquiry Maths model harmonises concepts with the method of learning.

Reading list (last updated in January 2022)

This is our reading list of books, chapters, PhD theses and articles from research journals about inquiry in mathematics classrooms. Topics covered include the nature of mathematical inquiry, classroom practice, outcomes of inquiry learning, and training for teachers in inquiry methods.

In April 2021 we updated the reading list with suggestions from Hollie Walton. Hollie is a teacher of mathematics and is studying students' experiences of Inquiry Maths for a Masters degree at the University of Cambridge (UK). Contact Inquiry Maths with suggestions to include on the reading list.


Research questions

Postgraduate students and trainee teachers who are interested in carrying out research into the Inquiry Maths model and mathematical inquiry more broadly might consider research questions related to the following topics:

  • types of students' inductive and deductive reasoning (exploring, conjecturing, reasoning and proving) in mathematical inquiry;

  • establishing a culture (or community) of inquiry;

  • the negotiated regulation and direction of inquiry;

  • the development of students' questioning and noticing of properties;

  • mathematical discussion;

  • learning, connecting and representing concepts;

  • the development of lines of inquiry;

  • the teacher's role in orchestrating, structuring and guiding inquiry;

  • incidences of student agency, initiative and independence; and

  • the psychological and philosophical bases of mathematical inquiry.

Trainee teachers' reflections on Inquiry Maths

London Metropolitan University

Trainee teachers at London Metropolitan University have been using Inquiry Maths in their practice since 2016. Some have created their own prompts, while others have devised new concepts with which to plan and analyse inquiry lessons. Below are links to a selection of the trainee's projects:

Stem and leaves

New fractions prompt

Developing independent and self-aware learners

Planning and evaluating

New prompt on prime factors

University of Brighton

Trainee teachers on a course at the University of Brighton (UK) in 2014-15 review an article about Inquiry Maths.

Inquiry Maths reviewed

Inquiry Maths workshops

There have been Inquiry Maths workshops at the following universities:

Birmingham (UK)

Brighton (UK)

Cambridge (UK)

London Metropolitan (UK)

Manchester Metropolitan (UK)

Maryland (US)

Part of a workshop on approaches to learning mathematics.

Nottingham (UK)

Sheffield Hallam (UK)

St. Mary's (UK)

UCL Institute of Education, London (UK)

Sussex (UK)

Warwick (UK)