Author ORCID Identifier

Jakopovic -

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Conference Proceeding

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This report examines the value-add of mathematics faculty participating in regional communities of practice (CoPs) embedded within a larger Math CoP network. The CoPs and the network are aimed at fostering the use of teaching with inquiry practices in undergraduate mathematics courses. We examine value found at the individual participant level as well as at the CoP level within the larger network. We present themes identified using Wenger, Traynor and de Laat’s (2011) value framework to illustrate how individuals and CoPs find value within the network. In this paper we provide an initial look at how the network can support both regional communities and individual members in finding value and sustaining interaction within the CoP.

Supporting the achievement of secondary and post-secondary students in mathematics is an ongoing area of concern, particularly due to its impact on recruiting and retaining students in STEM fields (Fayer et al., 2017; Rose & Betts, 2001). One effort to address this is a focus by mathematics faculty on the use of evidence-based teaching practices, such as active learning, to support undergraduate student success. Despite evidence that lecture style instruction is not effective for many students, particularly those from underrepresented populations, it is still frequently used by many undergraduate STEM faculty (Jaworski & Gellert, 2011; Laursen et al., 2019; Stains et al., 2018). Faculty who attempt to employ evidence-based, effective teaching practices often find themselves doing so in isolation, which can make sustained implementation difficult (Banta, 2003). For the purpose of this paper, we use the term “teaching with inquiry” to encapsulate many forms of evidence-based teaching strategies that include: active learning, inquiry-based learning (IBL), project-based learning, problem-based learning, student-centered teaching, ambitious teaching, and team-based learning. Communities of practice (CoPs) provide one avenue of support for like-minded mathematics faculty as they pursue effective teaching and professional development. CoPs focused on teaching with inquiry are positioned to provide support systems by connecting faculty members with common goals and a vision for teaching.


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This paper was presented at the 34th Annual Conference on Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education held February 24-26, 2022.