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Experience Inquiry

Experience Inquiry
5 Powerful Strategies, 50 Practical Experiences

First Edition

Foreword by Kath Murdoch, Author of The Power of Inquiry

Additional resources:

September 2018 | 240 pages | Corwin

"Strategic and deliberate approaches to inquiry have been shown to be extremely helpful to educators who seek to ensure that they are meeting the needs of their students. In this important new book, Kimberly Mitchell provides practical insights and methods for how to incorporate inquiry into their practice. For educators who seek to enhance their effectiveness and make a difference for all of the students they serve, this book will be an invaluable resource and guide."

Pedro A. Noguera, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Education
UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, 
Los Angeles, CA

"Kimberly has translated the latest terminology—pedagogical jargon—into lively language and useful advice that will strike a chord for classroom teachers!  She 'gets it.'"

Deborah Meier, Educator & Author
Coalition of Essential Schools

Discover inquiry for yourself with this interactive guide

 Plenty of resources speak to the benefits of inquiry, the research behind it, and even subject-specific processes to follow. But that’s not enough. Implementing inquiry is the tricky part, and involves changing beliefs about the teacher and student roles in the classroom. Most critically, we as teachers must engage in inquiry ourselves to successfully implement it in the classroom.

One part practical guide, one part interactive journal, this book provides the opportunity to do inquiry as you read about it. You’ll learn what inquiry-based instruction looks like in practice through five key strategies, all of which can be immediately implemented in any learning environment. This resource offers

  • Practical examples of what inquiry looks like in the classroom, and how to do it
  • Opportunities for reflection throughout the book, including self-surveys, templates, and tools
  • A user-friendly handbook format for quick reference and logical progression through your inquiry journey
  • Fifty practical inquiry experiences that can be used individually, with students, or in small groups of teachers

These strategies and experiences will improve your relationships with students and colleagues, reduce your workload by asking more of students, and breathe joyful curiosity back into your classroom. Let’s get out of our comfort zones and do inquiry-based teaching in a more practical and powerful way! Are you ready?

About the Author
1. What Is Inquiry?
My Own Inquiry Journey

Experience #1: Inquiry Self-Survey

2. Beginning Your Inquiry Journey
How to Use This Book

Tips for Success

What’s the Role of Administration?

The Inquiry Leader Self-Reflection Tool

Staff Reflection Survey

The Importance of Balance and Harmony

3. Taking Stock of Your Classroom
Experience #2: How Do You Know If You’re “Doing” Inquiry?

Experience #3: What Do Your Students Think?

Experience #4: What Do Others See in Your Classroom?

Experience #5: What’s the Student Experience?

Experience #6: What Does All This Tell You?

4. What Does Inquiry Look Like?
The Inquiry Five Strategies

Experience #7: What Are Your Burning Questions About Inquiry?

Experience #8: Who, When, and How Should You Answer Questions?

Experience #9: How Can Questions Be Savored?

Experience #10: What Does Your “Ideal” Class Look Like?

5. Strategy #1: Get Personal
Introduction to Get Personal

Experience #11: Mad-Libs: Who Are You?

Experience #12: Who Were Your Teachers?

Experience #13: What Stories Can You Tell?

Experience #14: How Do You Tell a Story That Sticks to the Soul?

Experience #15: What Does Your Classroom Say About You?

Experience #16: Why Do You Teach?

Experience #17: What Is the Third Space?

Experience #18: Ask Me Anything!

6. Strategy #2: Stay Curious
Introduction to Stay Curious

Experience #19: What’s Your Expertise?

Experience #20: What Still Intrigues You?

Experience #21: Who Are Your Teachers Today?

Experience #22: Are You a Luddite or Linkedin?

Experience #23: What Do You Teach?

Experience #24: What Would Your Curriculum of Questions Look Like?

Experience #25: What’s Your Teaching Approach?

Experience #26: How Do You Respond to Students?

7. Strategy #3: Ask More, Talk Less
Introduction to Ask More, Talk Less

Experience #27: What’s Really Happening in Your Classroom?

Experience #28: Who Is Hiding in Plain Sight?

Experience #29: What Questions Are You Asking?

Experience #30: How Do You Teach With Your Mouth Shut?

Experience #31: How Do You Get Students to Listen to One Another?

Experience #32: How Do You Get Students to Talk Together?

Experience #33: What Are Socratic Seminars, Harkness, and Spider Web Discussions?

Experience #34: Which Questions Work Best in Inquiry Classrooms?

8. Strategy #4: Encourage Evidence
Introduction to Encourage Evidence

Experience #35: What’s the Most Important Question to Ask?

Experience #36: How Do You Get Your Students to Back Up Their Claims?

Experience #37: How Do You Teach “Crap Detection”?

Experience #38: How Do You Provoke Healthy Debates?

Experience #39: How Can You Practice the Evidence-Seeking Process?

9. Strategy #5: Extend Thinking Time
Introduction to Extend Thinking Time

Experience #40: How Do You Get Students to Think More?

Experience #41: How Can You Get Students to Ask More Questions?

Experience #42: How Do You Cede Control Without Losing It Completely?

Experience #43: How Do Inquiry and Mindfulness Connect?

Experience #44: How Can You Support Innovative Student Thinking?

Experience #45: How Do You Start Project-Based, Problem-Based, and Challenge-Based Learning?

10. Now What?
Experience #46: How Do You Plan for Inquiry?

Experience #47: How Do You Assess Inquiry?

Experience #48: How Do You Make Time for Inquiry?

Experience #49: How Do You Explain Inquiry to Skeptics?

Experience #50: What Does Inquiry Look Like to You?

11. Inquiry Resources
Kimberly’s Top Ten Lists

Inquiry Books

Inquiry Videos and Podcasts

Inquiry Organizations

Inquiry Blogs

More Reasons to Fall in Love With Inquiry: the Inquiry Five (i5) and Alignment Documents
The i5 and Common Core State Standards

The i5 and Next Gen Science Standards

The i5 and Danielson Teaching Framework

The i5 and Marzano Framework

The i5 and Approaches to Teaching and Learning (International Baccalaureate)

The i5 and High Leverage Practice (TeachingWorks, University of Michigan)

Curriculum at-a-Glance (Southern Hemisphere)


"The shift from 'what' and 'how to' to 'why' and 'what if' is a must for 21st century educators, and Experience Inquiry provides a powerful, but practical framework for any educator to join education's long overdue critical thinking revolution."

Colin Seale, Founder of thinkLaw
Glendale, AZ

"Kimberly Mitchell is a fabulous teacher and coach who has managed to create in Experience Inquiry a book as engaging for readers as the classrooms she envisions are for students. It’s a must-read if you’re looking for support on your path towards helping your students gain the curiosity, understanding, and creativity to shape a better future."

Wendy Kopp, Founder, Teach For America & CEO, Teach For All

"This book will help you grow your own ideas about what it means to do inquiry. It will help you learn more about yourself and your students by inviting you to work through a set of thought-provoking and practical exercises. Invite your colleagues along in this journey and you’ll find yourselves taking new steps towards envisioning and creating inquiry-based classrooms."

Elham Kazemi, Professor, Associate Dean of Professional Learning
University of Washington, Seattle

“With skill and grace, Mitchell navigates the important questions that teachers – and all educators – should be asking themselves. Deeply personal, reflective, and inspirational, Experience Inquiry is a treasure-trove of carefully-crafted, eminently practical ideas for improving the practice of teaching. Bravo!”

Ash Vasudeva, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

“Mitchell's book is honest and while it could have been full of 'eduspeak', it is not. It is real, focused, and to the point. Full of suggestions on how to implement and refine your inquiry practice, this book is inspiring and practical. As a life-long learner myself, this book helped me share in the enthusiasm kids have for learning. From the perspective of a teacher, it's a toolkit we should all make our own!”

Francesca Zammarano, JS Design Tech Teacher & Technology Integrator
United Nations International School
New York, NY

"Experience Inquiry is full of tangible strategies for fostering inquiry with students of any age. Kimberly Mitchell has knocked it out of the park with this book- it's highly readable, accessible and chock full of great information. I loved the practical exercises that allow you to try as you go. This is a must read for teachers looking to use inquiry-based teaching in the classrooms. Buy this book today and read it with your team."

Bonnie Lathram, Writer and Educator; Co-author of Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning
Seattle, WA

"So many people fancy themselves experts on teaching, but few of them have the wisdom of Kimberly Mitchell. Her ceaseless focus on inquiry and call for teachers to 'talk less and ask more' are some of simplest, but powerful pieces of wisdom I've come across in my decade plus in the classroom."

Nathan Gibbs-Bowling, 2016 National Teacher of the Year Finalist, 2014 Milken National Teaching Award
Tacoma Washington

"Kimberly Mitchell has put together a powerful book at a key time in the evolution of how we teach, and how students learn. Central to the purpose of this book is the understanding that creating a culture of inquiry begins with the teacher. Many educators know this, but may not have had the opportunity, or the guidance, to really explore what this means for them, their habits, and their practices. This book does just that. Writing in a friendly and informal style, Mitchell invites us to be introspective and to really ponder who we are as educators in this critical time, a time when traditional teaching habits need to be rapidly replaced with those that promote student choice, decision-making, and empowerment. With a rich variety of anecdotes, examples, wisdom ,and practical-thinking tools and strategies, Experience Inquiry is a must-have for the 21st century educator."

Sam Sherratt, Time Space Education
International Schools Consultant
Key features
This book will provide teachers with:
  • Practical examples of what inquiry looks like in the classroom and how to do it
  • Opportunities for reflection throughout the book, including self-surveys and space to write
  • Easy-to-use handbook format
  • 50 inquiry experiences that can be used individually, with students, or in small groups of teachers

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