Who We Are

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit best known for having originated the Shared Inquiry method of teaching and learning that has been a favorite of teachers and students for more than 70 years. 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

We at the Great Books Foundation focus every day on facilitating thought-provoking discussions about ideas that really matter. Establishing meaningful conversations among diverse participants is central to our mission and has been the keystone of our work for over 70 years. Recent events have reiterated for us the importance of engaging with difficult and sometimes contentious issues, building community and civility, and ensuring that historically underrepresented voices are heard.

A group of elementary school girls are indoors in their school library. They are sitting together at a table and reading together.

Five Ways to Improve Speaking and Listening

Engagement and Discussion Strategies from the Shared Inquiry™ Toolkit Among the most basic elements of collaboration are speaking and listening skills. Used in every grade and discipline, as well as at home and at work, these skills can be easily overlooked because they’re everyone’s business. However, deliberately cultivating awareness ofContinue reading

Discussion group of multiethnic children in library talking to teacher.

Pandemic Relief Funds for Education

The federal government has created a number of funding sources under the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) and the CRRSA Act (Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations, also known as the CARES II Act) so that schools and districts across the country can address pandemic-related disruptions andContinue reading

Multi-ethnic group of students with teacher in classroom listening to understand

Listening to Understand: Five Strategies to Try with Students

In this era of sound bites and hot takes, everyone seems to be talking––but who is listening? As a consequence, many students are growing up without experiencing authentic conversations. In this environment, classroom modeling of how to listen and respond to others is increasingly important. At the Great Books Foundation,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