Who We Are

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit best known for having originated the Shared Inquiry method of teaching and learning. Our flagship K–8 program, Junior Great Books®, has been a favorite of teachers and students for more than 7 decades. We believe that literacy and critical thinking help form reflective, knowledgeable citizens equipped to participate constructively in a democratic society.

Our Mission

The mission of the Great Books Foundation is to advance the critical, reflective thinking and social and civic engagement of people of all ages through Shared Inquiry™ discussion of works and ideas of enduring value.

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Building a Brighter Future

View this video to see how Junior Great Books programs help students at all levels express their ideas, listen carefully to others, and create more collaborative, caring communities.

The Great Books Foundation’s Associate Board of Ambassadors is excited to bring you Sing It Forward, our virtual giving event featuring Reuters Entertainer of the Year Michael Cavanaugh. He will delight the audience with favorites from the American rock and roll songbook, and will take requests for songs in his vast repertoire!

Parents and children lying on rug and reading book in living room at home

Four Ways to Create a Climate of Inquiry at Home

Shared Inquiry™ empowers teachers to use interpretive, evaluative, and factual questions to help students dig deeper into whatever they are reading so they can express themselves, listen to others, and synthesize new ideas from the input they receive. Parents and caregivers can reinforce the Shared Inquiry mindset their students areContinue reading

A caring teacher helping her reluctant student speak up during group discussion

Help Reluctant Students Speak Up

Try these seven tips to make your classroom more inclusive. Every teacher has experienced it: during discussion, some students hang back and avoid speaking. It’s clear that increasing participation helps everyone learn more, but how can that be achieved without making quieter students feel uncomfortable? The Great Books Foundation hasContinue reading

Elementary school kids raising hands to teacher

Six Fundamentals of Building an Inclusive Learning Community

Are you hoping for a better, more equitable future? Are you ready to take steps today that will help your current students? While the topic is complex, clarifying key terms and revisiting these six basics of inclusive learning communities—each coupled with specific inquiry-based learning practices—can turn our aspirations into opportunities,Continue reading


Junior Great Books Series 6–8

We are taking our mission beyond classrooms with a vision to build stronger, more innovative working and thinking communities, and activate influential leaders to foster positive change.

Junior Great Books Virtual AcademyTM

Virtual Academy Fall Sessions Now Enrolling!

Great Books Results Since 2010

Teachers Trained

Students Impacted

Schools Using Great Books