Descriptive Inquiry in Teacher Practice
Cultivating Practical Wisdom to Create Democratic Schools
Cara E. Furman
Cecelia E. Traugh
Teachers College Press
What does it mean to teach for human dignity? How does one do so? This practical book shows how the leaders at four urban public schools used a process called Descriptive Inquiry to create democratic schools that promote and protect human dignity. The authors argue that teachers must attend to who a child is and find a way to create classrooms that allow everyone to feel safe and express ideas. Responding to the perennial question of how to cultivate teachers, they offer an approach that attends to both ethical development and instructional methods. They also provide a way forward for school leaders seeking to listen to, and provide guidance for, their staff. At its core, Descriptive Inquiry in Teacher Practice champions a commitment to schools as places in which children, teachers, and leaders can learn how to live and work well together.
Illustrates how to take an inquiry stance toward the difficult issues that educators face every day.
Examines how themes regularly addressed in foundations can be used to improve schools.
Includes engaging portraits of progressive urban schools that showcase the qualities of the leaders that guide them.
Demonstrates the power of a progressive and humanistic education for children of color and for those from lower-income backgrounds.
Cara E. Furman is an assistant professor of literacy education at the University of Maine, Farmington. Cecelia E. Traugh is the dean of the Graduate School of Education at Bank Street College.