Inquiry Institute; Great results begin with great questions.



QUESTION THINKING™ is the Inquiring Mindset in action. The term “Inquiring Mindset” represents the habit, curiosity, and courage of asking open-minded questions of oneself and others. An active Inquiring Mindset is fundamental for success with each of the “4 C’s:” critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration.

1.  A primary purpose of education is to support and encourage students in reinforcing and growing an active Inquiring Mindset – regardless of age,  grade, or subject studied – and regardless of whether teaching and learning take place at school, at work, or in life.

2.  A primary skill of effective teachers and educational leaders is their ability to operate consistently from an active, resilient Inquiring Mindset.

Question Thinking Model

3.  When classrooms, schools, and communities operate with collaborative cultures of inquiry, they are primed to be more successful in fulfilling educational goals within thebroadest visions of the purposes of education.


We offer consulting, coaching, keynotes, conferences, in-house workshops and public workshops for K-12 and higher-education educators and educational leaders.

If you would like to explore how these services might work for you please contact us.

Click to download the QUESTION THINKING™ Model in Education.

Education Highlights:

Teaching That Changes Lives: 12 Mindset Tools For Igniting the Love of Learning by Marilee Adams, Ph.D., published by Berrett-Koehler in 2013. Click here.

Camilla Lopez, principal, and Kevin Lohela, academic dean, have received a grant to use QUESTION THINKING™ to create an Inquiring Culture at their Crown Heights elementary school. Learn more.

Click on the arrow below to hear Marilee Adams interviewed on the Mindset Works Newsletter Podcast.

Our Education Clients include:

  • Achievement First
  • American University
  • Harvard University
  • Kent State University
  • Learning Forward Conference 2011
  • NJEA

Additional Inquiry Institute clients

Some of the topics Dr. Adams speaks on:

  • Cultivating the Inquiring Mindset for Life-long Learning
  • Change Your Questions, Change Their Results
  • The Inquiring Leader: Change Your Questions, Change Their Results
  • The Inquiring Leader: Strategies for Communication, Collaboration & Change

Contact us for more information.


Education & The Inquiring Mindset Conference (2011)

Education and the Inquiring Mindset Conference a Homerun!

Participants and presenters from Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, and Canada gathered in Princeton on July 27th, 2011 for the Inquiry Institute’s inaugural conference on Education and the Inquiring Mindset. We spent the day exploring ways that an Inquiring Mindset contributes to teaching, learning, and achievement – here is a list of all the presentations, workshops and speakers bios.

Participants included high school and middle school teachers, assistant superintendents, professors (from colleges, community colleges, and graduate programs), coaches, and consultants in education and business. People reported that the experience was thought-provoking, lively, and practical—and that the networking was also great.

Here are just a few video clips from the conference:

1. Marilee Adams, Ph.D: (President of the Inquiry Institute) opening comments; the definition of the Inquiring Mindset and three propositions about the value of the Inquiring Mindset in education: Click here

2. Marge Schiller, Ph.D. on “Appreciative Inquiry: Lessons from the Field for Strength-Based Classrooms and Schools” – a clip sharing the process of Appreciative Inquiry in schools: Click here

3. Kathy Telban, M.ED, CPT, SPHR, on “The Role of the Inquiring Mindset in Supporting Secondary and Postsecondary Curriculum and Assessment Alignment”
Clips on the process of Kathy’s change initiative to revise the curriculum and assessment of 144 courses at Cuyahoga Community College: Click here

4. T. Waldmann-Williams, Ph.D. and Karen Collias, Ph.D. – 21st Century Skills in Learning, Life, and Business: Clips of their sharing real life business and education partnerships: Click here

5. Participant comments after the conference: Click here

Here is a newspaper article about the Education and the Inquiring Mindset Conference.

If you’d like more information about the Education and the Inquiring Mindset Conference (2011) or about the work of the Inquiry Institute in education in general, please contact Kim Aubry (