We speak with Dr. Cecelia Traugh and Dr. Cara Furman, co-authors of “Descriptive Inquiry in Teacher Practice: Cultivating Practical Wisdom to Create Democratic Schools.” Descriptive inquiry is a structured, collaborative process in which teachers share and get practical feedback on classroom challenges. Breaking down teachers’ isolation, descriptive inquiry encourages non-confrontational conversations about racial and other biases. Teachers benefit not only from the wisdom of their colleagues but also from the safe space and supportive community.


00:00-00:44 Intros

00:44-04:18 Descriptive inquiry

04:18-07:32 How descriptive inquiry was developed

07:32-09:17 Phenomenology

09:17-09:48 Summer Institute

09:48-14:37 Developing relationships (with faculty or with parents); talking about race

14:37-19:33 Questions of race within faculty practice; looking at biases

19:33-24:01 Teasing out cultural norms; developing community

24:01-26:29 Descriptive inquiry as being value laden

26:29-31:05 Helping teachers feel comfortable sharing

31:05-36:38 Writing the book: why now and why people should read it

36:38- Outro


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Soundtrack by Poddington Bear