Using an Integrated, Spiral-Based, Inquiry Approach in Mathematics and Science Methods Instruction

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The methods mathematics teachers use to teach their students have the potential to vastly influence how their students understand the discipline (Kelly, 2001). With the advent of reform curriculum, there has been a push for teachers to abandon lecture dominated instructional practices and to adopt more student-centered practices. In Creating Advocates: Building Preservice Teachers’ Confidence Using an Integrated, Spiral-Based, Inquiry Approach in Mathematics and Science Methods Instruction, Catherine Kelly explores the influence of the beliefs and attitudes of pre-service teachers about integrated, spiral-based, inquiry instruction in mathematics and science.
Kelly began by explaining how an integrated, spiral-based, inquiry approach to instruction is rooted in Piaget, Vygotsky, and Bruner. For the purpose of her study, she examined pre-service teacher enrolled in a methods course and set out to answer what impact their prior beliefs about doing mathematics and science have on their teaching and if the perceptions about their ability to teach these subjects can be influenced by learning an integrated, spiral-based, inquiry approach of instruction. Her research problem was done at a high level because it provided a brief background about what an integrated, spiral-based, inquiry approach to mathematics and science instruction is grounded on and explicitly indicated that teacher beliefs was what she was attempting to study.
In Kelly’s literature review, she justified the importance of spiral-based inquiry by explaining how it fosters a safe environment for students to ask questions, pose and solve problems, and conduct inquiry. As she proceeded, Kelly explained the importance of the role of the teacher in being able to e...

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...provement in students. Thus, in showing that an integrated, spiral-based, inquiry approach increases the confidence of teachers’ beliefs about their abilities in doing and teaching mathematics and science, the same can be said for increasing the confidence of their students in these subjects. The importance of this study for me was that it showed how a teacher’s beliefs about how to teach mathematics, an integrated, spiral-based, inquiry approach versus a lecture approach, can encourage students to ask mathematical questions, pose and solve mathematical problems, and conduct mathematical inquiries by building their confidence.

Works Cited

Kelly, C. A. (2001). Creating advocates: Building preservice teachers' confidence using an integrated, spiral-based, inquiry approach in mathematics and science methods instruction. Action in Teacher Education, 23(3), 75-83.

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