You are here

Inquiring Into the Common Core

Inquiring Into the Common Core

Foreword by Ann Lieberman

July 2013 | 112 pages | Corwin

Common Core implementation begins with asking the right questions!

While the Common Core couldn’t be clearer about what to teach, they never quite tackle how to teach. That’s what makes Inquiring into the Common Core such an essential resource. It offers teachers an inquiry-based professional development model for achieving greater understanding of the standards themselves, then determining best ways to realize desired outcomes.

How exactly does the model work? Teachers take charge of their own professional development by posing questions, or wonderings, to stimulate action and higher-level insight into the big ambitions of the Common Core. At the very same time, they engage in a parallel process of inquiry with their students in service of the very same goals. Assisting teachers along the ways, Inquiring into the Common Core provides

  • tools to systematically study teaching effectiveness while adapting to new standards
  • classroom-ready, student inquiry techniques and strategies to apply within Common Core’s framework
  • real life inquiry-implementation examples from a high-need, high-poverty school

Ideal for both teams or individual teachers, there’s no better resource for laying the groundwork for successful and thought-provoking classroom actualization amid shifting times.

List of Figures
Foreword by Ann Lieberman
About the Authors
1. The Common Core and Inquiry
What is the Common Core?

How did the Common Core Develop?

Why Is the Common Core Important?

How Is the Common Core Different from the Status Quo?

What Difference Will the Common Core Make to Teachers and Students?

How Can Teachers Learn More About the Common Core and Its Relationship to Their Practice?

How Can Teachers Actualize the Common Core in their Daily Approach to Teaching?

Where Can I Learn More About the Common Core?

2. Teacher Inquiry: The Basics
What is Inquiry?

Components of the Inquiry Process

Where Can I Learn More About Inquiry?

3. Teacher Inquiry Into the Common Core: The Story of Lareal
Finding a Wondering and Developing an Inquiry Plan

The Start of Lareal’s Inquiry

Collaborating with the Reading Coach

Continuing the Inquiry Journey

Summative Data Analysis and Sharing with Woodson Faculty

4. Student Inquiry: The Basics
What is Student Inquiry?

What Is the Relationship Between Student Inquiry and the Common Core State Standards?

How is Teaching as Inquiry Different from the Status Quo?

What Does Teaching as Inquiry Look Like in Practice?

What’s the General Structure for Student Inquiry?

Where Can I Learn More About Student Inquiry?

5. Student Inquiry and the Common Core: The Story of Mary
First Things First: Creating a Culture of Inquiry

Starting Small: An Inquiry-Based Lesson

Expanding Horizons: An Inquiry-Based Unit

6. Making the Common Core Come Alive Through Inquiry: Lessons Learned
Lessons About Teacher Inquiry and the Common Core State Standards

Lessons About Student Inquiry and the Common Core State Standards

The Most Important Lesson


"A well-organized, easy-to-read format makes Inquiring into the Common Core a great resource to guide teacher inquiry, discussions in professional learning communities, or a schoolwide book study. Centered around the stories and reflective voices of teachers, this book provides authentic and practical tools and resources for educators to effectively engage in the complex and rewarding work of understanding and applying these new standards for student learning."


Mary Conage, Title I Director
Pinellas County Schools, FL

"Using inquiry as a means of addressing the Common Core Standards is a wonderful way to transform the learning experiences for everyone. With teachers and students as learners, leaders and inquirers, the inquiry process provides a great framework for diving into the Common Core Standards. This book highlights possibilities for teaching and learning with the ingenuity of teachers and the resilience of students as they venture into the raised standards of the Common Core."

Donnan Stoicovy, Lead Learner
Park Forest Elementary School, State College, PA

"In Inquiring Into the Common Core, Nancy Dana has provided practitioners with another 'go to' book for ideas and guidance.  Teachers, principals, and central office administrators will discover a very helpful book full of useful examples and references for implementing the Common Core State Standards. Once again, Nancy and her colleagues guide educators through the inquiry process with a focus on increased student learning.  Inquiring Into the Common Core presents a well conceived process for using teacher and student inquiry to implement the Common Core State Standards."

Cynthia Simonsen, Director of Learning and Instruction
Anacortes School District, WA

"We must answer the call of the Common Core to empower our teachers as professionals and inquirers. Dana, Burns and Wolkenhauer provide a framework for how to go about this work in a clear and urgent manner. The Common Core is clear about what to teach. How to teach is up to us. To reach the promise of the Common Core, we must position ourselves as studiers of our own practice. As good as we are, we can always get better; this is the inherent message of Inquiring Into the Common Core. Inquiry is not a scary thing!"

Katherine Reed, Teacher Development Specialist
Hamilton Southeastern Schools, IN

"This book is clearly a must read for any educator responsible for implementing the Common Core State Standards. Through authentic classroom examples, the authors present a compelling argument for using inquiry as both a powerful professional learning design for developing teachers’ expertise in the implementation of the Common Core, and as an effective instructional approach to actively engage students in their learning of the standards."

Amy B. Colton, Executive Director
Learning Forward Michigan

"In the book Inquiring Into the Common Core, practitioners will find a roadmap, travel guide, and even 'snap shots' of inquiry work with the Common Core standards. As we travel a new path in education with the Common Core standards, the pioneers of this book and the teachers at Woodson Elementary provide practical tips and motivate us for the journey. Readers will learn how to use Common Core standards as the map and inquiry as the vehicle for the learning ride of a lifetime! THIS is how we should approach bringing the Common Core standards to life in our classrooms."

Kathy Christensen, 2010 Florida Elementary Reading Coach of the Year
Immokalee, FL

"Inquiring Into the Common Core is an excellent resource for educators who want to make the conversion to Common Core successfully. For anyone questioning the purpose of this broad movement in education, the authors provide us with the What, How and Why. Most importantly, this book helps to eliminate any fear associated with the transition to Common Core. This is a 'teacher-friendly' book; the authors truly understand and convey the complexities of the modern classroom and the relationship between teaching and learning. The way the authors have successfully and effectively linked learning theory to instructional practice is truly refreshing."

Neyland G. Clark, Superintendent
South Harrison Community School Corporation, IN

Review Pending

Professor Gary Vause
Biomedical Hlth Info Sci Dept, University of Illinois - Chicago
September 27, 2013
Key features
(1) Applies the process of teacher inquiry to help teachers gain insights into the Common Core as teachers try out new techniques and strategies related to Common Core implementation in their classrooms.

(2) Promotes the use of inquiry-based teaching to help students develop higher-order and critical thinking skills and prepare them for college- and career-readiness.

(3) Chapters Three and Five illustrate Teacher Inquiry into the Common Core Standards and Student Inquiry in the Classroom respectively with real examples from teachers and coaches from a high-need, high-poverty school that has focused its inquiry work around the Common Core.

(4) Book is well suited to the work of teacher teams as well as individual teachers.

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

Rent or Buy eBook
ISBN: 9781452274218

ISBN: 9781452274263

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.