Great Books Foundation Celebrating 75 Years

Help Us Continue a Tradition of Great Conversations

Earlier this year we began celebrating the Great Books Foundation’s 75th anniversary. The Foundation was established in 1947 with a mission to promote lifelong education through the reading and discussion of outstanding literature. Today, we’ve extended that mission to people of all ages, and we promote the discussion of ideas expressed not only through literature, but in artwork and media of any form.

Help us continue a great tradition with learners of all ages. Please consider donating to the Great Books Foundation today!


Join the Conversation

View this video, featuring Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta, Georgia, 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.

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.

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!

Earn Shared Inquiry Badges with Great Books Training

We want to recognize your expertise in Shared Inquiry™ and make it simpler to share your achievements with others. Beginning this June the Great Books Foundation will issue a Shared Inquiry Leader digital badge to participants who complete the Shared Inquiry Essentials course.

In addition to the Shared Inquiry Leader badge, Great Books will be awarding badges that recognize higher levels of professional learning.

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!

What People Are Saying

A multi-ethnic group of school children are indoors in a classroom. They are sitting on the floor and eagerly listening to their teacher read a storybook.

Shared Inquiry Curriculum for Black History Month

February is Black History Month. As an educator, it’s important to shine the spotlight brightly in February, and it’s equally critical to continue to keep that light on throughout the year. Below are some recommendations for how to use Junior Great Books® and our Shared Inquiry™ methodology in your classroom.Continue reading

Kids reading in classroom. What Makes A Good Reader

What Makes a Good Reader? It’s Complicated

When it comes to “essential questions” asked by educators and families, here’s one that is surely high on the list: What practices most help all students flourish as readers, thinkers, and communicators?  Teachers, schools, and districts rightly devote much time and many resources to teaching students to read because, moreContinue reading

Integrate Academic Development and Social Emotional Learning

Using Junior Great Books to Meet the NAEP Reading Assessment Goals for 2024

According to the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), “The ability to read critically and analytically is crucial for effective participation in America’s democratic society” (xiii). We can help your students with this goal of the NAGB and succeed in what the assessment measures. The Great Books Foundation is a 75-year-oldContinue reading