This book offers middle school educators practical information about inquiry-based, interdisciplinary learning. The authors explore the underlying cognitive, social, and moral reasons why it is developmentally appropriate for young adolescents to become active researchers; how the I-Searchone kind of inquiry-based, interdisciplinary unittranslates theory into practice in a manageable way so that it fits into the real lives of middle school teachers; what teaching, learning, and assessment within an I-Search Unit look like in practice and how this relates to technology use, content-area standards, and current theories of education; and how to promote successful implementation by having facilitators and administrators create the supportive structures teachers need to engage in cycles of curriculum design, implementation, and evaluation.

Based on 10 years' work with middle schools and interdisciplinary teams, this book shows teachers and students asking real-life questions, searching for answers, and presenting their new understanding of "overarching concepts" from the effect of overfishing on a region's economy, to the social and emotional effects of natural disasters, to the health implications of water pollution. Teachers and students explored community resources, read varied materials, conducted interviews, and used technology to keep track of their work--which culminated in I-Search reports and exhibitions.