Institute for
Educational Inquiry

Center for
Educational Renewal

National Network for
Educational Renewal

Agenda for Education
in a Democracy

Agenda para la Educacion
en una Democracia

Foundation Support

Board of Directors


Institute for Educational Inquiry
117 East Louisa Street #371
Seattle, WA 98102
Tel: (206) 325-3010

Educational Inquiry

The Institute for Educational Inquiry (IEI) is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1992 by John Goodlad to advance the Agenda for Education in a Democracy.

The IEI is an independent, nonprofit corporation that grew out of the long-time work of the Center for Educational Renewal (CER) in the College of Education at the University of Washington. The Institute is funded completely by the generous support of many philanthropic foundations dedicated to supporting education. The many funders of the Institute and Center are listed here. See the Center for Educational Renewal for the earlier history and genesis of the IEI.

Much of the work of the Institute involves conducting extensive professional development programs on a wide range of educational issues that bring together P-12, college of education, and arts and sciences faculty from the settings of the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER). The professional development programs of the IEI are diverse, including long-term programs to expand diversity in teaching and teacher education programs; to integrate the arts into the preparation of all elementary classroom teachers; to develop leadership skills of faculty within schools, colleges of education, and the arts and sciences; to establish greater understanding between journalists and educators; and others. All of our activities are made possible through the generosity of many philanthropic foundations and individual donors. Visit our programs page for more information about these exciting initiatives.

Administratively, the work of the Institute is done by a small group of dedicated professionals. See the Staff/Consultants page for names and contact information of our in-house staff and our various initiative program leaders and consultants. The Institute's work is also guided by a Board of Directors made up of both local and national figures.

The Institute works to advance the Agenda for Education in a Democracy. This Agenda consists of a four-part mission, a set of strategies to achieve that mission, and conditions that are necessary to carry out the strategies.

The agenda is mission driven and research based. It seeks to:

  • Foster in the nation's young the skills, attitudes, and knowledge necessary for effective participation in a social and political democracy.
  • Ensure that all youths have access to those understandings and skills required for satisfying and responsible lives regardless of race, religion, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or birth language.
  • Develop and provide continuing support to educators who nurture the learning and well-being of every student.
  • Ensure that educators are competent and committed to serving as stewards of their schools.

To accomplish this mission, schools and universities seek simultaneous renewal of schools and the education of educators. They do so by putting in place the conditions necessary to renewing the nation's schools and its democracy.

Why this Agenda is Important

What the IEI Does

With Whom Do We Work?

Institute for Educational Inquiry

Individual Donors

Foundations Providing Financial Support

The IEI Gets Results

The IEI is a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies on grants from foundations and donations from individuals for its financial support. To date, approximately forty foundations and fifty individuals have provided funding to the Institute. Contributions to the IEI are tax-deductible to the extent the law allows and may be mailed to Paula McMannon at 117 East Louisa Street #371, Seattle, Washington 98102.


Agenda for Education in a Democracy (AED) Scholars

The Institute for Educational Inquiry (IEI) seeks to sustain the history of the Agenda for Education in a Democracy (AED) and sustain its renewal in the future. Toward those ends, John I. Goodlad and the IEI recognize a group of leading college and school educators as AED Scholars.

We believe that the renewal of both education and democracy depend on more than the written word. To adopt the language of Ken Sirotnik in The Moral Dimensions of Teaching, there must be a "community—a moral community—that transcends the special interests of individuals, families, groups that stands for what this [democracy] is all about: liberty and justice for all. . . . It is a 'moral ecology' held together by a political democracy and the fundamental values embedded in the system."

Colleagues of the Institute for Educational Inquiry constitute such a moral community as they busily engage in work that teaches and advances the Agenda for Education in a Democracy in a variety of ways that keep it vibrant. Some of this work forwards the history; some of it helps others understand the mission, the necessary conditions for its advancement, and the strategies for implementing it through teacher education, schooling, and community engagement.

The work of these colleagues warrants a place in the human conversation and is enhanced by it. Individuals selected as AED Scholars benefit from association with others so selected and provide counsel to the Institute for Educational Inquiry regarding the mission and initiatives of the IEI. From time to time, as funding permits, selected AED Scholars assemble to reflect on issues associated with their area of specialization.

Those designated as AED Scholars receive no added financial compensation in connection with their recognition, but the IEI endeavors to publicize their ongoing work and accomplishment to the broader educational community.

When the National Network for Educational Renewal held its annual meeting in Bellevue, Washington, on October 15-17, 2009, AED Scholars led five discussions. The first presentation provided an overview of the seemingly intractable issues that frustrate our efforts to develop the good society: one in which the people are both healthy and wise and the culture as a whole—a democratic culture—is supportive. Following that introduction session/paper, the remaining sessions/papers dealt with the following issues:

1. Gross inequities in virtually every component of this nation's system of public education.

2. Inattention to the huge body of information we have about individual differences among humans and about human development in general.

3. The general failure of policymakers, professionals, and the general public to work together in a common purpose such as the public democratic purpose of schooling.

4. The continued failure of our society, especially at the policy level, to comprehend that the conventional wisdom and dominant behavior of our people stem from nonintentional and intentional educating by forces other than our schools.

These Critical Issues Papers are works in progress and are available here.

National League of Democratic Schools

John I. Goodlad initiated the League of Small Democratic Schools in 2004 to promote professional development that emphasizes the growth of students as individuals who are successful members of a democratic society and helps preserve schools that successfully advance the Agenda for Education in a Democracy. In August 2007, the name was changed to the League of Democratic Schools (LODS). Please see links to newsletters and documents that highlight the League's purposes, characteristics, and benefits and provide a brief description of the League, which includes member schools.


For questions regarding the work of the Institute, please contact Paula McMannon.

For a brief description of the Agenda for Education in a Democracy and its relationship to the Institute, click here.

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