What is Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) ?

Please note that we are considering IBL in a broader sense, including problem-based learning, student-centered teaching, active learning, ambitious teaching, discovery learning, team-based learning, inquiry-oriented learning, and more. Learn more about Inquiry-Based Learning.


The New England Community for Inquiry in Mathematics is a community of mostly higher-education instructors passionate about teaching mathematics (see membership list with names and institution).


Two important goals of the consortium are broadening the use of teaching with inquiry in the New England area and supporting a regional community of practitioners that use inquiry.


To work toward our vision, we organize regular professional learning communities and professional development opportunities for faculty/instructors in the New England region.

Value Framework for our Events and Activities:

NE-COMMIT participants engage deeply in meaningful teaching conversations and activities. We collaboratively process the ideas of teaching with inquiry. To do this, we are guided by the

Humanized Four Pillars for faculty professional development: (context and development)

  • Participants should engage teaching with inquiry deeply and experience it as a living discipline. That teaching with inquiry should be driven by questions that make sense and are valuable from participants’ perspectives and should allow them to develop new insights and ideas. (transformative learning)

  • Participants should collaborate, developing their own authority and collective ownership of the teaching with inquiry, engaging their full selves and bodies and learning about themselves and their peers through these interactions.

  • Facilitators should leverage participants’ thinking to broaden teaching with inquiry and deepen the community discourse.

  • Facilitators should attend to positioning each participant as a knower and person who is represented in teaching by inquiry and should actively resist historical and ongoing oppressive hierarchical systems.

To reach all faculty/instructors we are working toward faculty diversity across at least three dimensions:

• identities of instructors (e.g. people of color and women),

• institution types of instructors (e.g. two year colleges, R1 universities),

• identities of students served by instructors’ institutions (e.g. minority serving institutions).

We continue to learn how to create spaces that are welcoming and supportive of all. Our anti-racism statement lists additional actions by the NE-IBLM leadership team. If you have suggestions on how we can improve this website, our events, etc, please let us know.

National COMMIT Network:

NE-COMMIT is a core participant of the COMMIT Network, which provides some funding for our events. We gratefully acknowledge this larger community.

Put NE-COMMIT On The Map

NE-COMMIT faculty are spread all across New England, as you can see on the following map. Find people close to you who may share your interests (membership list). If you are not yet on the map, please contact Volker Ecke.

The NE-COMMIT Leadership Team includes

  • Geillan Aly, Compassionate Math, CT

  • Carly Briggs, UMass Lowell, MA

  • Volker Ecke, Westfield State University, MA (*)

  • Christine von Renesse, Westfield State University, MA (*)

  • Ileana Vasu, Holyoke Community College, MA

We appreciate the many years of dedicated service of leadership team members Rachel Schwell (Central CT State University) and Nermin Bayazit (Fitchburg State University), who stepped back from their positions in 2023. Wholehearted thanks!!

Many thanks also to Carolyn Gardner (Mathematics for Teaching, Harvard) , Karl-Dieter Krisman (Gordon College) for their support in initial conversations about founding NE-COMMIT.

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to Mathematics Learning by Inquiry (MLI) for a grant to support the inaugural brainstorming and visioning work of the NE-COMMIT / NE-IBLM organizing group as well as the pilot coaching program. We are also grateful to the NSF for an IUSE grant to support the COMMIT network, and to MLI and TPSE (Transforming Post-Secondary Education) for supporting our faculty fellowship and coaching program.