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


Developing Networks of Responsibility to Educate America's Youths


High School Partner Schools


The Well-Educated Teacher

Over the past fifteen years at both the Center for Educational Renewal and the Institute for Educational Inquiry, we have placed a major emphasis on developing both the philosophical grounding (the moral and political dimensions of education and schooling in a democracy) and the infrastructure (the National Network for Educational Renewal settings). With the grounding reasonably well developed and accepted, and with the infrastructure in place, we are continuing our work with partner schools, based on the Partner School Compact developed several years ago by the partner schools and the Center. We are also working on several initiatives, with most having a version of our leadership program established to advance the work in the settings. Also, we are working with journalists and educators in our Journalist and Educator Fellows program. Click on the links below for more information about our various efforts.


  • Agenda for Education in a Democracy (AED) Scholars

  • Arts in Teaching and Teacher Education: 1999 - 2003
    Thanks to funding from the J. Paul Getty Trust, the Texaco Foundation, and the Allen Foundation for the Arts, we worked with eight school-university settings in examining issues surrounding how to integrate the arts into the preparation of all elementary school teachers. 

  • Developing Democratic Character in the Young
    This initiative began by bringing together a group of scholars representing interdisciplinary fields to identify key commonplaces or principles underlying the development of democratic character and developing a curricular component in liberal studies that would be part of the educational program for future teachers (and available to other students as well). Members of the group include Mary Catherine Bateson (Anthropology, George Mason University), Beno Csapo (Education, Attila Jozsef University, Szeged, Hungary), John I. Goodlad, Robert Hoffert (Political Science, Colorado State University), Stanley N. Katz (History, Princeton University), Nel Noddings (Education, Stanford University), Roger Soder, Kathleen Staudt (Political Science, University of Texas at El Paso), Paul Theobald (Education, Wayne State University) and Julie Underwood (General Counsel, National School Boards Association). A book describing the commonplaces found by the studies of the Working Group was published by Jossey-Bass in 2001, called Developing Democratic Character in the Young. In addition, Stephen J. Goodlad's The Last Best Hope: A Democracy Reader (Jossey-Bass, 2001)
    examines, in a comprehensive anthology, the conditions necessary for democracy to exist and flourish and what roles education does or should play in a democracy.

  • Developing Networks of Responsibility to Educate America's Youths: 2002 - 2006
    The W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan, awarded the Institute a grant to work with eight communities within the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER) that were already engaged in school-university collaboration and that served high numbers of children from minority/economically poor populations. This three-year effort sought to increase the capacity of the eight communities to constructively address their own educational issues by developing networks of diverse leaders from educational institutions and from the broader local community.

    A year-long leadership program was organized and enacted by higher education, P-12 school district, and community-based leaders in each community. The overall goals of the program were to develop shared understandings of the children and youths in the community, create systems of parent and community engagement in schooling, create locally determined strategies to recruit and retain a diverse teaching staff, and support the development of leadership capacity in the communities' youths. Following the year-long leadership program, in which participants identified local problems and created plans of action for school improvement within their communities, the settings received some funding to support implementation of their approved plans.

    "Engaging with the Community: Developing Networks of Responsibility to Educate America's Youths" (published November 2006) features reflections by people engaged in the DN initiative and includes a preface by John Goodlad, a description of the initiative, five stories told by DN participants, an evaluative report by Ann Foster, and comments regarding sustaining collaborative engagement.

  • Diversity in Teaching and Teacher Education: 1998 - 2001
    The Institute received a three-year grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to develop a curricular component to prepare future teachers to deal effectively with diversity in the classroom, to develop at least one partner school in each participating NNER setting to the level of excellence in addressing student diversity, to develop in-service opportunities in these partner schools to be made available to teachers beyond it, and to recruit adolescents from minority groups into secondary school future teachers clubs and then support their entry into collegiate teacher education programs. Funding was made available to each of the eleven participating NNER settings.

  • High School Partner Schools: 1996 - 2000
    Developing partner schools at the high school level has always been difficult. The Institute sought to encourage high school partner schools by establishing an initiative to develop leadership within high schools for the creation and ongoing development of high school partner schools. The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations provided two successive grants to support this effort. Twelve high schools and their collaborating institution(s) of higher education were selected to participate in the program; each of the schools was either already a partner school and wanted to improve, or wanted to become a partner school. At each of these schools, a team of five individuals—school teacher, principal, central office administrator, school/college of education faculty member, and arts and science faculty member—served as a coordinating group that would work together to create or sustain the partner school. Each school prepared a written portrait; these portraits have been collected and published as the third in our Reflections on Practice series; the portraits also are available individually to download. The portraits reveal that considerable progress was made and that there are a number of obstacles to overcome to achieve success in a secondary partner school.

  • Journalism, Education, and the Public Good: 1999 - 2005
    This initiative began with two consecutive grants from the Stuart Foundation and continued with a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded in March 2001. Additional support was provided by the Washington Mutual Foundation and the First Amendment Center. The initiative included a Fellows Program for Journalists, originally for those from the West Coast and now for those from throughout the United States. Print and broadcast journalists selected as Fellows participated in three seminars over the course of an academic year as well as in electronic dialogues. The purposes of the program were (1) to improve how well educators and journalists fulfill their mutual responsibilities to develop informed citizens for a social and political democracy; (2) to improve communications between educators and journalists; and (3) to learn more about the ways in which the media shape beliefs concerning public education.

    On April 24 and 25, 2005, at the Freedom Forum in Arlington, Virginia, twenty-one educators and journalists addressed the question of what actions are needed to provide the public with the information required for them to make wise decisions regarding the education of young Americans. This was the second in a series of two similar meetings with the first having been held in December 2004 in Seattle, Washington. Both conversations began by considering what the public needs to know about education, moved to an examination of what obstacles may be in the way of their being well informed, and concluded with suggestions about actions that should be taken.

    Publications featuring the results from these conversations and other materials provided help to settings in the NNER in conducting their own forums.

  • League of Democratic Schools
    In 2004, with a modest grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, John Goodlad and colleagues created the League of Small Democratic Schools to promote professional development that emphasizes the growth of students as individuals who are successful members of a democratic society and to help preserve schools that successfully advance the Agenda for Education in a Democracy. For more information about the beginnings of the League, please see the Announcement of League Formation and Initial Meeting: Fourteen Schools Selected. ^

    In August 2007, Dr. Dorothy Lloyd was appointed director of the LODS. Please see the staff page for Dr. Lloyd's bio. For more information on the current work of the League, please see newsletters and documents that highlight the purposes, characteristics, and benefits and provide a brief description of the League (including a list of 2007-2008 member schools).

  • Secondary School Renewal Initiative: 2001 - 2003
    A grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations allows the Institute to expand the work with secondary partner schools described above. The Secondary School Renewal Initiative seeks to contribute to the professional development of high school faculties and to develop replicable models for future professional development of high school faculties. The Institute will develop materials and processes that are intended to help leaders in secondary partner schools as they work to strengthen and continually renew their programs.

  • The Well-Educated Teacher: 1997 - 2000
    The Center for Educational Renewal received a three-year grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts to develop models of general education for future teachers. Starting with the critical question, "What does it mean to be an educated person, who is a teacher, in a democracy?" the initiative addressed both the content of general education curriculum and how best to address that content in the context of undergraduate and post baccalaureate teacher education programs. Related to this initiative was a leadership program that focused largely on questions of general education and brought together teams of leaders from each participating setting to deal with a primary issue of general education of their choice.

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