The Institute on Descriptive Inquiry

Registration for the 2024 Summer Institutes is now open! 

Looking closely to describe student work. Photo by Stephane Barile (2022).

The Institute on Descriptive Process can be an introduction to descriptive processes, or may serve to deepen understanding of them. The Institute explores the many ways children and youth express their ideas about the world through activities, words, and works. The Institute’s work rests on close observation and description, giving teachers an opportunity to look at children’s (and their own) works from multiple perspectives, while also serving as a way of considering connections to and implications for teacher practice, curriculum, school policy, and assessment. 

The Summer Institute on Descriptive Inquiry brings together teachers, parents and others who are familiar with descriptive processes. Participants share a commitment to creating classrooms and schools where all children, and all people, are valued. As they work from their experiences, ideas and questions, those who attend participate in spanning studies of children and works, philosophical inquiry and in depth study of the descriptive processes. Participants can opt to attend one or two weeks of the Institute on Descriptive Inquiry. We are working on ways to include opportunities for online participation this year.

For more information about the Institute on Descriptive Processes (Institute 1), please contact Kirsten or Taeko. For more information about the Institute on Descriptive Inquiry (Institute 2), please contact Andy or Stephane

Remembering Patricia Carini

We continue to remember and pay tribute to Pat Carini, co-founder of the Prospect School, member of the Prospect board, author, speaker, independent educator, friend and teacher to many of us, who was pivotal to the development of Descriptive Inquiry. Gina Ritscher, IDI Board member and longtime friend of Pat, offers this tribute

Additionally, the Prospect Archives at the University of Vermont is collecting recollections and memories of Pat, to be archived along with the records of the Prospect School and Center. To participate in this ongoing project, please visit The University of Vermont's Digital Collections here.

Sunset at Bennington College, former meeting place of the Summer Institutes and alma mater of Patricia Carini. 

Upcoming Events

Header photo: Hampshire College by Stephane Barile (2022).