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Critical thinking and shared inquiry in the junior primary years is a Course

Critical thinking and shared inquiry in the junior primary years

Mar 10 - Apr 8, 2021

Spots remaining: 15

$350 Enrol

Full course description


Date and time

Day 1: Wednesday 10 March 2021, 4.00pm to 5.30 pm

Day 2: Thursday 25 March 2021, 4.00pm to 5.30 pm

Delivery mode

Online – a Zoom link will be provided 24 hours prior to the event


This learning event is right for you if you are a lower primary teacher wishing to further understand Shared Inquiry, a sequence of activities that uses questions, close reading and discussion to collectively explore a story's or poem's meaning.


This two-part webinar will introduce lower primary teachers to Shared Inquiry developed by the Great Books Foundation in Chicago. Rooted in the Socratic method, Shared Inquiry is distinct in its focus on high quality texts and the participation of a trained leader who helps students arrive at their own interpretations of the text. When used in classrooms, Shared Inquiry promotes a special relationship between teachers and their students. Instead of presenting the correct answer, teachers guide students in reaching their own interpretations and understanding the interpretations of other.

The Junior Great Books programs have been the subject of numerous scientific research  projects and case studies. The program has shown to not only increase results in reading comprehension, critical thinking and writing, but to grow a love of reading in the students who take part.

 This learning event supports creating best practice toward the following VRQA standard(s):

  • Curriculum and Student Learning – Curriculum framework
  • Curriculum and Student Learning – Student learning outcomes.                                                                              

Key takeaways 

  • strategy to support young students as they begin to learn essential reading comprehension and critical thinking skills
  • ways to help young students ask rich questions
  • understand of ways to help young students look to the text for answers
  • ways to support young students listen to and talk about each others' ideas.


Presenter information

Diane Bourke         

Diane is an experienced educator who has worked at all levels of primary and secondary schooling over a number of years. She has held various leadership roles, most recently as Head of Junior School. Since retiring from this position her interest in education has not waned and she remains passionate about how we can inspire, facilitate and develop children's learning and thinking in all aspects of life.




Nikki Maguire                 

Nikki Maguire is an experienced educator, consultantand presenter in primary, secondary and tertiary education across Independent, government and Catholic sectors. She has a passion for the science of learning and inclusive education practices. Nikki has a Masters in Inclusive Education and is a certified International Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment trainer and facilitator, as well as an experienced Dynamic Assessment practitioner. She has worked in learning enhancement, academic coaching, wellbeing and school strategic planning and programme design and delivery.