TES interview
(June 2013)

Podcast 9
Join Craig Barton, adviser for secondary maths at the Times Educational Supplement, for the ninth episode of the TES Maths Podcast – your monthly dose of mathematical debate, ideas and resources. This episode Craig Barton is joined in the studio by Andrew Blair, an experienced Head of Department and the man behind the incredibly exciting website Inquiry Maths. On this episode we talked about running a successful inquiry-based lesson, and the changing role of the Head of Department (including sound advice for anyone thinking of taking up the role).
A collection of Inquiry Maths prompts can be found on the National STEM Centre's eLibrary (based at the University of York, UK). Steve Lyon, STEM mathematics specialist, described the prompts as "inspirational lesson ideas" and continued: "Each seemingly simple prompt is designed to intrigue students, leading to a rich mathematical task that can be explored in a variety of ways."
The first five prompts on the Inquiry Maths website were developed with the assistance of a Gatsby Teacher Fellowship in 2004-05. I am grateful to the Gatsby Educational Trust for the interest it showed in my early work at a time when inquiry teaching seemed out-of-step with the orthodoxy of the National Numeracy Strategy in the UK.
Andrew Blair

Inquiry Maths contacts

Andrew Blair

Andrew has been a teacher in comprehensive schools for nearly 30 years and, since 2001, a leader of maths departments in four different schools. Over the last 15 years, he has devised and developed the Inquiry Maths model and used inquiry prompts with many different classes. As interest in his form of inquiry has grown, Andrew created this website for teachers to gain access to ideas about Inquiry Maths and to generate further discussion around the prompts. He has a PhD from King's College London. His thesis was about the forms of mathematical reasoning that occur in inquiry classrooms. Andrew has run workshops for many different teacher audiences.

Emma Rouse

Emma is a lead practitioner with responsibility for KS4 (students aged 14-16) in a comprehensive secondary school in East London. The mathematics department uses inquiry extensively, particularly in its mixed attainment classes from years 7 to 9. Emma has presented Inquiry Maths workshops to audiences of teachers and mathematics educators. You can see an example of an inquiry in Emma's classroom here.

Caitriona Martin
Caitriona is a secondary school maths teacher and second-in-charge of a department in Leatherhead, Surrey (UK). Her interest in Inquiry Maths began when she was inspired by a workshop during her PGCE year at Brighton University and, since then, Caitriona has been incorporating prompts into her teaching. She has been encouraged by students taking ownership of their learning, thinking for themselves and being motivated to learn new concepts in order to answer their own questions. Caitriona has run Inquiry Maths workshops for teachers and for trainee teachers on university courses.