IBL Communities Project Statement on Anti-racism

July 2, 2020

Our NSF-sponsored project leadership team has compiled an IBL Communities statement on anti-racism. To read the statement, click here or find the appropriate tab in the menu at the top of your screen.

Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL)

Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) is a form of active learning in which students are given a carefully scaffolded sequence of mathematical tasks and are asked to solve and make sense of them, working individually and in groups. Many varieties of IBL exist under one “big tent.” While courses may look different, they rely on the core principles of (1) deep student engagement with coherent and meaningful mathematical tasks, (2) opportunities for students to collaboratively process mathematical ideas with peers, (3) opportunities for instructors to inquire into student thinking, and (4) ability for instructors to foster equity in their design and facilitation choices. Following these core principles, IBL courses enhance student learning by providing opportunities to learn the process of understanding and presenting math rather than simply watching someone else do it. Instructors come to the IBL community from interest in or experience with problem-based learning, student-centered teaching, active learning, ambitious teaching, discovery learning, inquiry-oriented learning, process-oriented guided inquiry learning, and complex instruction.

The term Inquiry-Based Mathematics Education, or IBME, has also been used to recognize that there are multiple inquiry traditions that can be unified by these principles (see Laursen, S.L., Rasmussen, C. I on the Prize: Inquiry Approaches in Undergraduate Mathematics. Int. J. Res. Undergrad. Math. Ed. 5, 129–146 (2019).

The National Network of


A regional Inquiry-Based Learning Community (IBLC) is a local group of college math instructors interested in using and disseminating IBL and IBME. These communities aim to provide evidence-based support mechanisms, through professional development, mentoring, and collaborations, to help members transform their teaching. IBLCs provide ongoing access to professional development without the need of a plane ticket to a national conference or workshop. Each IBLC is in a better position to understand the needs of instructors of the local region than a national organization can be, thus allowing for a grassroots route to bringing an IBL experience to every student.

This Network of IBLCs project brings together the leadership teams of multiple communities under one loose structure. Representatives from each community in the network meet multiple times each year to share successes, present opportunities, and discuss challenges. For more information on the NSF project which is currently supporting and studying these communities, view the NSF Project tab.

Current IBL Communities

Coalescing IBL communities

  • California-Nevada

  • Colorado

  • East Texas

  • Minnesota

  • North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia

  • New York City Metro Area

  • North Texas

  • Ohio-West Virginia

  • Oklahoma

  • Pacific Northwest

  • Pennsylvania

  • South Central Texas

  • Southern Arizona

  • Utah-Idaho

Contact if you would like to be connected with the leadership team of any of the above coalescing IBL Communities, or if you'd like your community to be added to this list. We aim to grow our network to cover the United States, and we already have participation within Canada.

Current and Coalescing ibl communities

IBL Community EVENTS

Check out our calendar for events of interest to those in the regions that are currently part of our network. This calendar includes our Network of IBLC events in the default color, as well as contributing events from each of our regions in alternate colors.

If you have events that should be of interest to one of our regions, please contact a member of our project leadership team from that region. If you would like us to add your region's Google Calendar to ours, please contact

IBLC Workshop Facilitator Meeting – Spring 2020

The purpose of the meeting was to agree on a common component for the spring events (2020) that each of the regional IBL communities will put on, as well as begin the process of sharing resources. Nine workshop facilitators met online to ask questions and share ideas on workshop facilitation and workshop activities.

The common components for the Spring 2020 workshops will be:

(1) Answering the question of “What is IBL?” using exemplars such as live classroom immersive experiences or classroom videos, plus the 4-pillars definition

(2) A session exploring how you do IBL by digging into at least one practice in depth. Practices explored might include: opening up a problem, facilitating group work, choosing presenters, running a whole class discussion, etc.

Resources created included:

- A shared document for collecting potential math problems to use in a live classroom: Problems Used in Workshops for Live Classroom Experiences.

- A shared document for collecting resources and tips on running a live classroom in PD: Tips of Facilitating a Live Classroom.

Check out our twitter feed for news about IBL Communities and let us know what you think by tweeting with #iblcommunities and/or to @iblcommunities


Check out our Resources page, through the menu at the top of your screen. It contains articles about IBLCs, information for those wishing to create an IBLC, and resources for leadership teams of existing IBLCs.

Are you in a place where you don't know enough IBL practitioners to be confident starting a community? Add yourself to a national list of interested people. We’ll help network you with others in your region once there is a quorum.

We currently have funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF-DUE #1925188) to support and study eight particular IBLCs. As part of this project we are providing financial support for activities and collaborations in those regions, and we are developing a toolkit with effective practices to create a regional community of practice. For more details on this, click the NSF Project page in the menu at the top of your screen.

In addition, the Initiative for Mathematics Learning By Inquiry foundation (MLI) has historically provided some small grants of about $2000 to kickstart regional IBL Community initiatives. Please contact them for questions about the status and availability of these small grants.

affiLIated groups

The following groups are actively collaborating with our Network of IBL Communities project in providing resources for our workshops. This is in addition to our direct financial support from the National Science Foundation (NSF-DUE #1925188; see our NSF Project page via the menu at the top of your screen).

If you're interested in establishing a collaboration with us, please contact

Press REleases

To find us in the news, please visit the following links.