Constructing an Inquiry Orientation from a Learning Theory Perspective: Democratizing Access through Task Design

Catherine A. Buell, Steven Greenstein, Zahava Wilstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


It is widely accepted in the mathematics education community that pedagogies oriented toward inquiry are aligned with a constructivist theory of learning, and that these pedagogies effectively support students’ learning of mathematics. In order to promote such an orientation, we first separate the idea of inquiry from its conception as a collection of methods. Then, by grounding those methods in a generally accepted theory of learning, we construct an inquiry-oriented pedagogy from a constructivist perspective. We then discuss the implications of this pedagogy for the design of mathematical tasks that democratize student access to inquiry. This work has implications for educators who wish to enact an inquiry-oriented pedagogy in their classroom in order to support their students’ problem solving and problem posing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-95
Number of pages21
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Mathematics(all)


  • Inquiry
  • constructivism
  • equity
  • inquiry orientation
  • inquiry-based learning

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