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01. Course structure



As a University Studies 5B Engagement Course, MTH 488 Mathematical Inquiry II aims to connect students with practicing teachers of mathematics in relation to substantive issues of school mathematics.

In past years the course has focussed on the teaching and learning of algebra.

Spring 2018 we will broaden our task somewhat by looking at the connections between algebra and combinatorics, and issues of proof in both these topic areas.

A guiding principle to connect these three things – algebra, combinatorics and proof – is proof by story telling, for which an excellent introduction is Hodkinson, J. (2016)  Proof by storytelling. Chalkdust, October 3.

Because the focus of the course is engagement with  experienced teachers of mathematics and mathematics educators, we will use social media to connect with these people. This will include existing blogs, Twitter, and construction of our own specialized blog.


This course will run almost entirely on your activity.

Your tasks throughout the semester are to

  1. Gather information about combinatorial and algebraic problems – especially those that connect the two areas – and discuss proofs, relevant to middle through high school matheamtics.
  2. Regularly post written blogs on the website   Algebra, Combinatorics & Proof.
  3. Give regular in-class presentations on your findings.
  4. Connect vie social media with middle and high school teachers, especially those engaged in teaching, algebra, combinatorics or proof.

Our blog

As a group we will publish blog posts on the Website Algebra, Combinatorics & Proof.

The aim in publishing these blog posts is to;

  1. Discuss relevant and critical issues in the teaching & learning of algebra, combinatorics and proof.
  2. Engage practicing and potential teachers of mathematics in these discussions.


25%: Blog postings at Algebra, Combinatorics & Proof

25%: In-class presentations

25%: Social media postings: tweets, posts on other blogs, comments on other blogs

25%: Final written summary of semester’s work