I attended Great Books Chicago 2019, and it was a rewarding experience that proved to be an affirmation of my Great Books middle school teaching practice.

The participants in the Chicago event experience Great Books as students. There is prerequisite reading (provided by the Foundation), and the Shared Inquiry sessions are thoughtfully formatted. As I read through the assigned readings, I began to see the connections between the texts.

During the Shared Inquiry sessions, the facilitators provided a question and allowed “think time,” and then members of the cohort shared their responses. This practice of posing a question, having the “students” write down the question, and allowing a few minutes of “think time” affirmed the model that I use with my Great Books students.

I would recommend that other teachers attend Great Books Chicago, as it’s an opportunity to observe expert facilitators, add Shared Inquiry group management techniques to your teaching practice, and experience Great Books as a student.

Christine Bonavolonta
St. Theresa School, Oakland, CA

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