There has been a flurry of writing about teachers as inquirers and researchers as well as books about children as inquirers. This volume brings these two areas together -- teachers and students are inquiring at Ridgeway Elementary School. It demonstrates the importance of thought collectives as forums for student and teacher learning. The children in the primary classrooms in this book are working to understand the world around them and their place in it as literate individuals. Their teachers are studying themselves and the students. No other book describes the way this work affects children, teachers, and the ethos of the school in which the work occurs. In that sense, this book is groundbreaking in that it is an honest portrayal of the joys and sorrows, the successes and the stumbling blocks, the clear vision, and the obfuscating that teachers live as they enact a life of asking questions, being curious, wandering, and wondering.
Acknowledging and honoring the many faces of inquiry in schools, this book demonstrates the children's inquiry, their teachers' inquiry, and the place of that inquiry in schools. It lays out the ways in which inquiry is fundamental to teaching and learning in a democracy in which all of the members of the community have a voice in deciding curricular directions and ways of presenting learning. Teachers are presented as thinkers and learners, not merely as technicians enacting others' views of what is to be learned and when. Readers will find teachers dealing with the real issues of life in schools; they will see how teachers can use their existing situations as points of departure for their growth and their students' learning.