Why should educators take Great Books Shared Inquiry training?

Teacher working on professional growth as she leads her Great Books Shared Inquiry Discussion classroom

Self-Care and Professional Growth

Great Books Shared Inquiry™ training creates a shift that helps educators reimagine teaching and learning. When combined with passion and purposefulness, professional development helps you grow as an educator. Think of it as educators’ self-care. Developing your skills helps you every day in the classroom and benefits students. It boosts confidence.

When administrators enable teachers to enroll in professional development that’s rewarding, they retain talented teachers. This is a critical factor today when teacher turnover rates are at an all-time high.

Teacher working on professional growth as she leads her Great Books Shared Inquiry Discussion classroom

Great Books PD Has Never Been Easier to Complete

Starting this fall, you can now take introductory Shared Inquiry training in-person, online, hybrid, or completely on-demand (see below). And we have just added two new advanced courses to our on-demand offerings, with more to come!

We also offer custom consultations to address the unique issues teachers face in their classrooms. Research shows that in-person, teacher-focused professional development supports the implementation of new strategies in the classroom and, over time, mastery of these skills.1

What You Will Learn in Shared Inquiry PD

Teachers who take Shared Inquiry training learn how to implement Junior Great Books® in the classroom, but they also learn so much more. Our research-based method of teaching and learning helps educators:

  • Create a more collaborative and engaging learning environment. With Shared Inquiry, students work together to explore complex ideas and rigorous texts. This helps them develop critical thinking skills, learn to communicate effectively, and solve problems.
  • Help all students find their voice. Shared Inquiry is a student-centered learning approach. This means that you will support students as they develop their own ideas and perspectives about the texts they read.
  • Enhance all of the basic language arts skills. Shared Inquiry helps students build their reading comprehension, critical thinking, writing, speaking, and listening skills. This will help them succeed in all subject areas.
  • Improve their teaching practice and help students reach their full potential.

Shared Inquiry also helps teachers learn how to:

  • Ask open-ended questions that promote critical thinking
  • Facilitate discussions that are respectful and productive
  • Help students develop their own ideas and perspectives
  • Assess student learning in a meaningful way

Erin Mohr

“We brought Junior Great Books into our district twice for professional development and both times our staff was incredibly impressed! We felt the training was well worth our time as our presenter was knowledgeable and engaging. Teachers came away energized about incorporating Junior Great Books into their instruction!”

—Erin Mohr
High Ability Coordinator
Hamilton Southeastern Schools
Fishers, IN

NEW! Advanced On-Demand Professional Development

The Power of Student Questions • Register

This advanced Shared Inquiry course will help you teach students how to pose better questions after a first reading to best help them build their understanding of the selection. You will learn how to stimulate students’ initial curiosity about a specific text and help them learn to zero in on parts of the selection that may raise questions. You will also learn how to help students identify the types of questions they have formulated and how to best answer their questions. This course focuses on the sharing questions activity, but the strategies you will learn will help students develop a process that enables them to have the confidence to ask their own questions about any text they may encounter.

The Power of Student Questions Great Books Online on-demand training

We strongly recommend that you complete the Shared Inquiry Essentials course before taking this course. This course assumes an understanding of the basic concepts of the Shared Inquiry method.

After this course you will be able to:

  • Help students express their initial reactions to a text in the form of questions
  • Use modeling and other strategies to help students articulate authentic questions
  • Teach students how to recognize different kinds of questions
  • Use follow-up questions to enable students to address their own questions
  • Use the power of students’ questions to engage the class in exploring answers and sharing their ideas.

Implementing Junior Great Books Nonfiction Inquiry • Register

Designed for teachers, this advanced-level asynchronous course introduces participants to the Junior Great Books Nonfiction Inquiry materials using the Shared Inquiry method of reading and discussion with nonfiction texts. We strongly recommend that you complete the Shared Inquiry Essentials course before taking this course. This course assumes an understanding of the basic concepts of the Shared Inquiry method.

After completing this self-paced course, you will be able to:

Nonfiction Inquiry Great Books Online on-demand training

  • Utilize Nonfiction Inquiry reading strategies and engage in discussion effectively
  • Apply the Shared Inquiry sequence of activities to nonfiction texts
  • Reflect on the elements and advantages of the Shared Inquiry sequence of activities as they pertain to nonfiction texts
  • Demonstrate proficiency in generating follow-up questions to enhance students’ understanding of nonfiction texts
  • Organize nonfiction discussions around a single text or an anchor text

Participants are encouraged to contribute to the discussion forums and take part in the Shared Inquiry Community. Those who complete the asynchronous modules, required coursework, and course evaluation will receive the Nonfiction Specialist Badge.

Director of Marketing and Development Dan Lindstrom is a marketing manager for the Great Books Foundation. Among his diverse roles, he has served as a liaison to Great Books groups and councils in the United States and Canada, promoting discussions and events for lifelong learners. He has helped organize Great Books Chicago for many years running.