Whether you are brand new to the Shared Inquiry™ method of learning or you’re refreshing or boosting capabilities, we have the perfect courses for you as you return to school. Now is a great time to train teachers new to the method, give needed professional development to support staff, and enroll in our convenient two-hour webinars to practice and master inquiry skills. Plus, you can always schedule consultation days to boost your Junior Great Books® implementation!

Introductory Courses

There are three great ways to take the Shared Inquiry Essentials course to qualify educators to lead Junior Great Books in the classroom: on–demand, blended, and live.

Shared Inquiry Essentials On-Demand • Register

You can register to begin this course any time. We recommend that you complete the course within 45 days of starting.

Designed for teachers, this asynchronous course prepares you to begin using Shared Inquiry with students at all levels. Participants will learn questioning strategies that keep discussions lively and focused and improve students’ reading, critical thinking, writing, and oral communication skills. Practice writing interpretive questions and using follow-up questions to involve students of all ages and proficiency levels. See how interpretive activities support student learning and enable students to learn more across the curriculum. This course includes up to 10 hours of self-paced instruction in the following areas:

  • Introduction to Shared Inquiry
  • The Shared Inquiry Sequence of Activities
  • Experiencing Shared Inquiry
  • Leader Preparation
  • Leading Shared Inquiry discussion
  • Classroom Implementation

Shared Inquiry Essentials Online Training

August 22–24, 2023, 10:00 a.m. 12:00 noon central time • Register
September 13–15, 2023, 3:00–5:00 p.m. central time • Register
September 27–29, 2023, 10:00 a.m. 12:00 noon central time • Register
October 17–19, 2023, 3:00–5:00 p.m. central time • Register

This course covers everything that the on-demand version does, but features live instruction which takes place completely online. The first 6 hours of the course are taught in three live 2-hour webinars. Participants complete the remainder of the course independently online, covering several key areas of the Shared Inquiry method, such as asking effective follow-up questions and learning about core lessons and activities. These independent online modules are entirely self-paced and take about 4 hours to complete. Those who complete the three-day webinar and the online modules will be eligible for a Certificate of Completion as well as a Shared Inquiry Leader Badge.

On-Site Shared Inquiry Essentials Course

Do you have a group of 10 or more educators that you’d like to train in the Shared Inquiry method? Get in touch with us and we will bring a Great Books trainer to your institution. Nothing beats live instruction from our seasoned trainers and group interaction with fellow course participants!

Intermediate and Advanced Professional Development

Once you have begun to implement Shared Inquiry with Junior Great Books programs in your classroom, you may want to advance your skills in inquiry-based teaching. Our intermediate and advanced level courses are designed to strengthen teachers’ questioning skills and maximize Shared Inquiry’s impact on student learning. There are several courses that address different aspects of the Shared Inquiry approach. Here are the most popular options:

The Power of Student Questions

September 28, 2023 • 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. central time • Register
November 9, 2023 • 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. central time • Register

This course will help you teach students how to articulate and share questions, identify different kinds of questions, and focus on the questions that will best help students build their understanding of a selection. You will learn how to activate students’ initial curiosity about a specific text and guide them to become active partners in inquiry. The process begins with the sharing questions activity and can lead to students helping to choose effective questions for Shared Inquiry discussion and for expository writing or research after discussion.

After this course, you will be able to:

  • Help students express their initial reactions to a text in the form of questions
  • Teach students how to recognize different kinds of questions
  • Use the power of student questions to engage the class in exploring answers and sharing their ideas, both during discussion and in writing

Implementing Junior Great Books Nonfiction Inquiry

September 21, 2023 • 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. central time • Register
October 25, 2023 • 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. central time • Register

This course introduces the Shared Inquiry method of reading and discussion and includes an interactive, hands-on demonstration of Nonfiction Inquiry reading strategies and discussion. After this course you will be able to:

  • Conduct the Nonfiction Inquiry sequence of activities
  • Set up and lead Shared Inquiry discussion using Nonfiction Inquiry texts
  • Plan a Nonfiction Inquiry implementation that fits your goals

You will receive Nonfiction Inquiry sample lesson plans and a PDF highlighting key classroom strategies.

Interpretive Thinking for Grades K–1

September 27, 2023 • 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. central time • Register
November 8, 2023 • 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. central time • Register

This intermediate-level course will help you apply the basic principles of Shared Inquiry to achieve realistic goals such as helping very young students listen to a story, make sensible comments about it, and ask relevant questions. You will explore ways to use simple forms of drama, drawing, and writing to help students connect with a story and to begin their interpretive thinking about it. The course materials cover basic principles underlying effective Shared Inquiry strategies for younger students and include worksheets to help you plan activities for your own class.

After this course you will be able to:

  • Help students in grades K–1 begin to respond interpretively to a story
  • Use the Junior Great Books Read-Aloud activities to engage all students in the interpretive process
  • Plan a Read-Aloud unit with strategies and activities tailored to your students
  • Use the Shared Inquiry method to address your students’ needs

Shared Inquiry Advanced Review

September 20, 2023 • 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. central time • Register
October 24, 2023 • 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. central time • Register

This course reviews the essential elements of a Shared Inquiry discussion and the Junior Great Books interpretive reading activities that enable students at all levels to participate successfully in higher-level thinking with challenging texts. Participants engage in the Shared Inquiry sequence of activities and an instructor-led discussion (or observe a video of a student discussion). After this course you will be able to:

  • Conduct Shared Inquiry activities
  • Set up and lead Shared Inquiry discussion
  • Use follow-up questions to deepen students’ thinking
  • Align Junior Great Books skills with relevant standards

Custom On-Site and Online Consultation

Our coaching gives teachers the personalized, specific feedback they need to apply what they have learned and to become highly proficient in inquiry-based teaching skills. Choose one or multiple days when our trainers will consult with your teachers to offer support where it is most needed. Our trainers can:

  • Colead Shared Inquiry discussion
  • Demonstrate Shared Inquiry discussion with your students
  • Meet with your team of teachers who are implementing Junior Great Books to discuss your implementation
  • Consult with you for any support you need

Contact your partnership manager to arrange on-site or online consultation, or to ask about any of our professional development opportunities in the Shared Inquiry method!