this Agenda is Important
is both demanding and inspiring. It is more than a lofty theoretical
framework designed to settle arguments and resolve disputes. It
is more than a set of ironclad criteria for countries to meet in
order to become members of an international club. It requires more
of its citizens than voting at election time. When we look beyond
the political trappings and historical lineage, we find that democracy
is about who we are as individuals and how we live together as families,
friends, neighbors, and citizens.
rarely think to ask questions to which the answers might offer a
comprehensive view of the state of our democracy. For example: Do
we model civility and respect in our interactions with others? Do
our communities readily welcome newcomers, even (especially) those
who look different or speak differently? Do community leaders such
as teachers, parents, and shopkeepers make it clear that racism,
sexism, bigotry, and homophobia hold no value?
we look at democracy in this way, we begin to see how schools in
democratic societies are different from schools in non-democratic
societies. Although all schools strive to produce literate, socially
and vocationally competent people, schools in a democracy must also
ready the young for a unique social and political environment. That
is, they must help to develop in individuals what we call "democratic
What the IEI Does
IEI works with educators to help improve schools and teacher education
to better approximate the ideals of a democratic society. At the
same time, it studies the processes used to make such improvements.
Thus, it provides an essential link between knowledge of good theory
and implementation of effective practices.
the IEI seeks renewal of schools and the education of educators,
it works to develop a broad base of well-educated leaders. It emphasizes
reflective practice and inquiry, stressing the value of educators'
learning from each other and from those who share their commitment
to the education of the nation's young.
professional development activities of the IEI include long-term
programs to expand diversity in teaching and teacher education programs;
to help educators engage with community members; to integrate the
arts into the preparation of all elementary classroom teachers;
to develop the leadership skills of faculty members within schools,
colleges of education, and the arts and sciences; and to establish
greater understanding between journalists and educators about how
to create a well-informed public.
Institute for Educational Inquiry
funding from over 35 foundations, individual donations, dues paid
by the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER) member organizations,
and in a few instances, registration fees for conferences, the IEI
has provided professional development and inquiry activities directly
to more than 7,000 educators, community members, and journalists.
Approximately $14 million has been raised, much of which has been
passed on to schools and universities participating with the Institute
in its many initiatives.
IEI currently provides support to the NNER's 42 school-university
partnerships; the League of Democratic Schools; the Developing Networks
of Responsibility to Educate America's Youths initiative; and the
Journalism, Education, and the Public Good program. The IEI also
has successfully collaborated with the American Association of School
Administrators, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development,
the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Kappa
Delta Pi, Phi Delta Kappa, and the First Amendment Center of the
its creation in 1992, the IEI has conducted and/or provided support
gathering of 2,000 educators in 1999 representing major national
national leadership cohorts of 18 to 30 educators from P-12 schools
and universities for year-long programs. Participants have created
programs in their communities that have reached thousands more.
3-year program for school and university teams seeking to improve
elementary school fine arts education.
regional leadership cohort meetings in New Jersey and Colorado.
professional development programs for leaders of school-university
gatherings of 200 to 500 educators affiliated with the NNER.
gatherings of educators from 6 states associated with the League
of Small Democratic Schools.
annual cohorts of journalist fellows from media outlets across
national media/education leadership study sessions.
5-day summer symposium for 36 school and university educators
5-day summer symposium for 21 school and university educators
3-day study session for 100 superintendents and other school district
leaders in summer 2005.
3-year program for colleges of education to increase the diversity
of the teaching force.
of networks in 10 locations convened over 4 years to strengthen
engagement of community members with school and university educators
to improve schools.
and evaluation studies regarding general education for undergraduates,
dual credit and early college programs, urban school system reform,
issues related to strengthening education in a democratic society,
and other topics.
for publication of 18 books and numerous articles and monographs.
The IEI Gets Results
Institute has been successful in:
Successful inquiry has been made regarding such issues as school
improvement in urban settings, general education for teacher candidates,
dual credit programs for high school students, increasing diversity
in the teacher corps, and concepts regarding democratic character.
Quality Publications and Materials
1992, John Goodlad and colleagues at the IEI have produced 18
books and more than a dozen monographs. Among the most recent
books are Education for Everyone, Romances with Schools, The
Teaching Career, The Last Best Hope, and Developing Democratic
Character in the Young.
and Implementing Effective Professional DevelopmentParticipants
Rate Programs Highly
programs produce leaders whose teacher preparation programs in
NNER settings are described by principals as preparing better
teachers than traditional programs.
educators and communities have increased their capacity to take
action to renew education for their youths.
programs have contributed to the growth of the NNER from 16 school-university
partnerships in 1992 to 42 partnerships located in 20 states and
1 Canadian province as of 2007.