HOW WE STARTED & WHAT WE DO
We started Action Driven Inquiry started in early 2018, ready to lean into the passions and talents of our small group in order to start the daunting work needed to heal our education systems. Our work involves looking at power and justice issues that get in the way of authentic and connected human learning, then building new paths for education. This means recognizing the assets, curiosities, and talents within the learning community and build collaboratively from there.
We offer collaborative support for educators, coaches, administrators, schools, home schools, communities, districts, and non-formal programs to develop cultures that value justice, equity, sustainability, learner curiosity, creativity, inquiry, agency, and action.
WHO WE ARE
These are the people that make Action Driven Inquiry
MARY BOROBIA WALLS
Mary Borobia Walls grew up in Calexico in the Imperial Valley where the heritages of her parents (her dad from Mexico City and her mom from California with settler roots from the 1800s in the IE) came together at the border. Her cultural background and varied experiences as a credentialed teacher over the last 20+ years has led her towards a path that values breaking down the injustices of our systems that are influenced by white supremacy culture and exploitation in education, society, and the environment.
Mary strives to be a part of meaningful community level change through her work as founder and CEO of Action Driven Inquiry and as volunteer co-chair of the Environmental Education Collaborative in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. She is also a member of the CAELI Equity Innovation Hub and is a proud participant in the Exploratorium Teacher Leader Network.
When she’s not collaborating on a project she’s passionate about or building curriculum with teachers and students, Mary is spending time with her three lovely and amazing daughters or sipping tea while tending her little garden at her home that sits on the traditional and unceded land of the Tongva People.
LINDA BRAATZ BROWN
Linda serves as a consultant and thought partner for Action Driven Inquiry. She has over 33 years of service in public education, retiring from the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools as the Science Coordinator serving over 32 school districts. Linda has been deeply involved in the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards locally, regionally, and throughout the state. In addition to science, she has been active in both teaching and provide professional learning opportunities across content areas including mathematics, history/social science, Environmental Literacy and STEM. In addition to her teaching experience in K-12, she has taught Math and Science Methods (elementary and secondary) and STEM Master courses at both California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), University of California, Riverside (UCR), and UCR Extension. One of her passions and areas of expertise is bringing grants to life to benefit students, parents, and communities. Successful grants include a NASA grant with the City of Ontario, CA, Math and Science Partnership Grants with Upland USD (mathematics & ALPHA Center, UCR) and Ontario-Montclair SD (science & ALPHA Center, UCR). Linda is a passionate advocate for inquiry-based teaching and learning and equal access for all students to engage in action oriented learning in both formal and informal learning environments. Join her on Twitter @braatz_brown
Andre ChenFeng is an advocate for teacher well-being, He is a 3rd year Ph.D. student at Claremont Graduate University. His research focus is on the integration of empathy and equity in education, specifically, how mindfulness-based, social and emotional learning with a critical-lens can impact teacher wellness in underserved communities. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Claremont Graduate University, teaching clinical skills to graduate students in the Teacher Education Program. Andre received his B.A. in Psychology and his M.Ed. in Urban Teacher Education from UCLA. He has received training from Cognitive Coaching, the National Equity Project, Teach Plus, Google’s STEM outreach program, Reading Apprenticeship at WestEd, and improvement science. Previously, he was a founding faculty member at UCLA Community School (TK-12) located in Los Angeles, where he taught 7th and 8th-grade mathematics for eight years. Before teaching at the Secondary level, he spent three years in early childhood education at Pasadena City College Child Development Center. In his spare time, he watches The Resident with his wife and enjoys reading board books with his two year old son.
Paul Pooler is Director of Education for Discovery Cube Science Center, a hands-on learning center for STEM proficiency and early childhood development based in Orange County, where he coordinates outreach programs that annually reach over 300,000 students in five Southern California counties and provide STEM-based professional development to classroom teachers. Paul has built a career in informal education, believing in the power of extracurricular, after-school, and summer programs to inspire, motivate, and educate. He is particularly passionate about Environmental Literacy, Maker Mindsets, and earned a master’s degree in education with a STEM focus from Concordia University. Paul is all about sparking creativity and agency in the student who doesn't fit in the narrative of many school systems.
The Action Driven Inquiry team has helped us deeply reflect on NGSS and student learning. Their process is thoughtful, caring, and practical.