Mar 24, 2020

New Inquiry Series Explores Cross-Institutional Collaboration

Bank Street Graduate School of Education
Two people in conversation at convening on educator preparation
Photo by Christine Butler

Teacher and principal preparation programs play a key role in supporting educators to create student-centered environments that promote deeper learning and build the next generation of equitable schools.

To help strengthen preparation programs across the United States, the Educator Preparation Laboratory (EdPrepLab) launched the Inquiry Brief Series, a set of publications supporting and documenting the cross-institutional work of educator preparation programs as they examine a range of topics relating to student learning and equity.

The series is informed by EdPrepLab’s mission to help educator preparation programs build structures and policies to support all students in learning deeply. Inquiry Briefs capture the collaborative work of 15 founding EdPrepLab program partners from across the country. All partners are teacher preparation programs deeply committed to equity and meaningful learning for all. Through the lens of discovery and inquiry, the briefs offer educators and leaders a closer look at a variety of tools that can support the work of preparation programs.

“Educator preparation programs need opportunities to engage in sustained collaborative inquiry to share, study, and strengthen the means by which teachers and leaders are prepared,” said Jessica Charles, Director of Scholarship on Educator Practice, Bank Street Graduate School of Education, and Director, EdPrepLab Network. “This new series of publications highlights how EdPrepLab network members are coming together to lead this charge and work toward expanding equity-focused, student-centered approaches in educator preparation programs. We appreciate the collaborative efforts of our partners in documenting and sharing their processes as they engage in this inquiry work.”

Briefs will be released throughout the year and will capture insights and lessons learned from small group collaborations among EdPrepLab institutions. The series will feature two types of resources: “Reflections and Tools,” which will provide how-to information and materials on processes and norms for group collaboration and discovery, and “Partner Spotlights,” which will offer a closer look at individual projects focusing on topics such as professional development and deeper learning pedagogies.

The series launched on March 11 with the publication of following briefs:


The latter brief provides an overview of topics that will be explored through six ongoing inquiry-led projects: 

  • Preparing Teachers to Support Deeper Learning in Highly Stressed Schools by Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
  • Deeper Learning in School Administrator Preparation Programs by the University of Colorado, Denver; the University of Illinois at Chicago; and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Creating a Critical Friends Network to Prepare Anti-Racist, Socially Just Teachers and Leaders by Montclair State University; the University of California, Los Angeles; and the University of California, Berkeley
  • Faculty Development for Equity by Bank Street Graduate School of Education; Alverno College, High Tech High; and San Francisco Teacher Residency
  • Mapping Deeper Learning Pedagogies in Teacher Education by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Trinity University; and the University of Colorado, Denver
  • Relational and Micropolitical Dimensions of Deeper Learning in Teacher Education Programs by the University of Chicago; the University of California, Berkeley; and the University of Colorado, Boulder


“Each collaboration will deepen our understanding of the ways in which preparation programs can strengthen their support of educators and, in turn, help a new generation of K-12 students develop the critical thinking skills necessary for success in the 21st century,” said Charles.

Additional briefs are planned for publication in the coming months as groups continue to meet and further engage in their deeper learning and equity-focused projects.

To read the Inquiry Brief series, visit