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.

Becoming Francisco X. Alarconón Sample Lesson Plans

Becoming Francisco X. Alarcón

At a time of such deep division, how can teachers help students reflect on their unique cultural identities and their participation in the larger American story? Rather than seeing individual identity and communal engagement as mutually exclusive, we at the Great Books Foundation believe that exploring diverse texts enables all students to learn about themselves

Amanda Gorman Reading The Hill We Climb Biden Harris Inauguration

Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb” Makes Space for Our Own Light

Watch Amanda Gorman read “The Hill We Climb,” then join us for a free Shared Inquiry discussion of the poem. Amanda Gorman’s poem for the Biden inauguration, “The Hill We Climb,” was addressed to “Americans and the world.” We at the Great Books Foundation, who seek to use literature asContinue reading

Getting Comfortable Having Uncomfortable Conversations

As the United States continues to confront and grapple with our complex legacies of systemic racism and widespread inequity, engaging in perhaps uncomfortable civil discussions with one another on truly tough questions is essential. To live up to the promises of our founding principles and to honor the sacrifices


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