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.

Elyria City School District

Junior Great Books Shared Inquiry process gives all students a chance to make their voices heard Amy Keir with a favorite book Amy Keir, K–12 teaching and learning coordinator for the Elyria City School District in Elyria, Ohio, greatly expanded the use of Junior Great Books® in her district inContinue reading

All Students Can Learn to Use Text Evidence

Here are 12 teacher- and expert-tested strategies! On the day I visited Brienne Cundiff’s first-grade classroom at Winfield Elementary School in Crown Point, Indiana, her students were working with the Junior Great Books® story “Those Shoes” by Maribeth Boelts. They were deeply engaged in this tale of a boy namedContinue reading

Group of elementary school pupils in class

Charles County, Maryland

Using Shared Inquiry and Junior Great Books for Fiction and Nonfiction at All Levels Great Books trainer Michael Elsey recently met over Zoom with two experienced educators at Charles County Public Schools in Maryland: Ann Taylor, content specialist for gifted and differentiated services, and Kristen Modes, gifted resource director. TaylorContinue 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