Professional Learning

Being a learning community is integral to who we are at ISP. One of our ISP2020 Strategies is; Everyone in our community takes active steps to learn with and from each other. This means that adults in the ISP Community are encouraged and supported to be lifelong learners just as students are.

The Edge in Education series

The Edge in Education is a series of seminars and workshops, several of which take place each academic year on campus at ISP. The series brings together eminent international speakers from the field of education and beyond with ISP educators and parents.

The sessions cover a range of thought provoking presentations on current and future trends in education. The links below show video coverage of the Edge in Education sessions.

Empowering Learners - Garfield Gini-Newman

Linked to ISP’s Mission to Empower learners,
Garfield Gini-Newman, professor at the Ontario Institute of Education in the University of Toronto, and highly respected teacher, author and consultant returned to ISP to deliver a talk that focused on:

-Inspiring wonder, opening students’ eyes to a world of possibilities;
-Developing intellectual capacity, building students’ intellectual toolkit so that they become effective thinkers in all domains; and
-Nurturing creativity, helping unleash students’ potential for innovative responses to complex and often unique challenges.

Mathematics Learning for the 21st Century - Dr. Yeap Ban Har

ISP welcomed Dr. Yeap Ban Har, Professor of Mathematics Education at Singapore’s sole teacher education institute, the National Institute of Education at Nanyang Technological University. Since 2010, he was the principal at a teacher professional development institute and concurrently Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at Pathlight School in Singapore. He is also Academic Director at Anglo Singapore International School, an international school in Thailand.

Linked to ISP’s Mission to Empower learners, Ban Har’s presentation was a conversation about what and how students should learn through mathematics. The presenter will share some data of student learning and outline learning experiences that are critical in high-level learning in mathematics.

School: At the Centre of Changing the World - Ewan McIntosh

This session was led by Ewan McIntosh – the passionate and energising tour de force behind NoTosh. A highly-regarded keynote speaker at events around the world, he’s also the author of How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen.

The world is screaming out for young people who can do more than just follow the rules. Following the rules is not enough anymore to create the products and services that people need, or to find and resolve the planet’s greatest challenges. (#ISP2020Change) And yet, so much of our schools’ values and systems present a challenge of their own: they are all about rule-following, and doing ‘well’ against pre-set criteria. What if school wasn’t about meeting the criteria, but exceeding them.

What if school wasn’t about following all the rules, but helping students learn when they should really go about breaking them? Sharing insights from his work with some of the world most innovative engineering and creative firms, and first-rate schools, Ewan McIntosh will show how school can be less about preparing students for an unpredictable world, and more about putting them at the centre of changing it.

Talk at Reggio Conference @ISP - Christine Cahille

Christine Chaille, Professor and Department Chair, Curriculum & Instruction at Portland University visited ISP and spoke to an audience of parents about children as theory builders. The session focused on:

  • how children learn by building theories
  • how to support our children’s theory-building
  • parents AS theory-builders
  • the value of “not knowing”

Great Leaders, Great Teachers, Great Parents - Ewan McIntosh

What is the most burning question you have about the way your child learns, the way teachers teach, about what you can do as a parent to support your child as they thrive long into the future?

Ewan McIntosh, originally a high school teacher who learned the most by teaching three year olds now works with some of the world’s most innovative engineers, fashion designers, media folk and yes, teachers. He helps them understand how they can work together to create something bigger.

3 C's of Quality Thinking: Critical, Creative and Collaborative - Garfield Gini-Newman

Garfield Gini-Newman, professor at the Ontario Institute of Education in the University of Toronto, and highly respected teacher, author and consultant led a session on quality thinking for ISP Parents. Garfield, co-author of “Creating Thinking Classrooms”, is working with educators around the world to nurture critical, creative and collaborative thinking.

Cultivating Curiosity - Kath Murdoch

Kath Murdoch, Kath Murdoch is an experienced teacher, author, university lecturer and popular consultant who has worked for many years in schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, America and Europe.

Kath’s session for ISP parents focused on why curiosity and wonder are such vital dispositions for learning (and living!).

Children as Theory Builders - Christine Cahille

Christine Chaille, Professor and Department Chair, Curriculum & Instruction at Portland University visited ISP and spoke to an audience of parents about children as theory builders. The session focused on:

-how children learn by building theories
-how to support our children’s theory-building
-parents AS theory-builders
-the value of “not knowing”

Developing your Child's Thinking - Mark Church

ISP welcomed back Mark Church, co-author of “Making Thinking Visible” to address parents.

Creating a culture where learning is relevant, connected, and driven by curiosity is central to the ISP strategic plan, ISP2020. The language we use, the questions we engage with and deeply understanding how learning happens matter greatly. This session focused on:

How our motives and vision for learning give shape to the kinds of language we use with children

Language patterns that typically dominate our interactions with children

Routines that develop productive language and interactions for meaningful learning with our children.

The Power of Principles - Kevin Bartlett, Greg Curtis and Peter Mott

ISP is proud to be the first international school to pilot the new NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) accreditation protocol, known as ACE (Architecture, Culture, Ecology).

Why is this new approach to accreditation necessary? Great schools are those where directions and decisions are framed by powerful, shared, research-based principles, not constrained by an over-abundance of complicated rules and regulations. Our concept of ‘learning’ – what ‘it looks like’, how it is nurtured or hindered, where and how it occurs, and what it means to be a learning-focused organization – has significantly changed thanks to social, economic, and technological shifts and dramatic new insights and understandings provided by brain research. Yet, despite many efforts at reforming and reinventing the place we call ‘school’, education has made little progress in liberating itself from a 19th century factory model designed to produce mass literacy – and a compliant work force. For the most part ‘school’ continues to be a place where learning is equated with academic outcomes, content mastery, and uniformity of process and practice. ‘Learning’ remains largely de-personalized, is often confused with high stakes test results, and does not equip our children with the understandings, aptitudes, dispositions, values, and competencies needed to deal with the global dilemmas and challenges of our times.

The preliminary accreditation team joined us during the first week of May, and spoke with the ISP community about the link between the principles embedded in our learning experiences and those arising from educational research.

What do today's employers look for in students entering the workforce? - Michael Del Nin, Eva Shaw and John Westby

Edge in Education Breakfast Mixer and Panel Discussion, April 24, 2015: The final session of the “Edge in Education” Series* of the 2014-15 academic year at the International School of Prague.

As the ISP mission states, our school strives to prepare learners to adapt and “contribute responsibly to our changing world.” In other words, we want our students to be “future-ready.” Figuring out what this means has never been more complex or challenging. With the help of a panel of professionals (and ISP parents!) from a number of fields, the fifth and final Edge and Education of the year addressed the question, “What do today’s employers look for in students entering the workforce?”

Thank you to Michael Del Nin (Co-CEO, CME), Eva Shaw (Partner & Country Manager, Czech Republic & Slovakia, Lansdowne International), and John Westby (AVP, IT Global Innovation Center at Merck).

Design Thinking Workshop

The heart of our ISP Mission is to prepare learners to adapt and contribute to our changing world by engaging them in an authentic global education.

In order to realise this mission, we examine trends to better anticipate what may be “life worthy learning.”

“Design Thinking” is a structured, engaging and dynamic process that develops learners’ empathy while developing critical and creative thinking, as the learner generates and develops ideas for identified needs (see this video for a two minute video intro to Design Thinking. Tinkering, making, and/or inventing for authentic needs provide powerful opportunities for learners to fail and bounce back from getting stuck, nurturing the key dispositions for future success: risk-taking, tenacity, resilience, and grit.

This fourth session of the 2014-15 ISP Edge in Education series at the International School of Prague discusses “Design Thinking: How can we inspire our learners to act with empathy, while applying critical and creative thinking to meet authentic needs.” As stated in “Design Thinking for Educators” from the d. School at Stanford University, “Design Thinking is the confidence that everyone can be part of creating a more desirable future, and a process to take action when faced with a difficult challenge. That kind of optimism is well needed in education.”

Attendees were asked to watch this five-minute video before the meeting – it’s about a teenager using Design Thinking to authentically contribute to the world.

Service Learning Workshop

The heart of our ISP Mission is to prepare learners to adapt and contribute to our changing world by engaging them in an authentic global education.

In order to realise this mission, we examine trends to better anticipate what may be “life worthy learning.” Click on the image below to watch the video.

In the Jan. 16th session, we discussed how students at ISP investigate issues, prepare for service, take action, reflect on their steps, and document their learning; how can we inspire our learners to act with compassion and intercultural understanding? Parent, students, and faculty members shared their experience with Service Learning.

Experiential Learning Workshop

The heart of our ISP Mission is to prepare learners to adapt and contribute to our changing world by engaging them in an authentic global education.

In order to realise this mission, we examine trends to better anticipate what may be “life worthy learning.”

The subject of our second Edge in Education session of 2014-15 was “Experiential Learning: How can we engage, inspire, and empower our learners through authentic learning experiences?” As the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (OECD) states, “There is broad consensus that in innovation-driven societies, schools have to guide students in solving complex, unfamiliar and non-routine tasks.”

The Relevance Gap

The heart of our ISP Mission is to prepare learners to adapt and contribute to our changing world by engaging them in an authentic global education.

In order to realise this mission, we examine trends to better anticipate what may be “life worthy learning.”

The title of this first Edge in Education session of 2014-15 was “The Relevance Gap: will today’s content be relevant in the future of our current students?”

Attendees were encouraged to watch this six-minute interview with David Perkins of Harvard University which acted as a springboard for the discussion about the challenges the relevance gap poses and how we’re addressing some of these challenges here at ISP.

Visiting Experts and Conferences

ISP’s enthusiasm for professional development and commitment to innovation in education means the school welcomes educational experts from around the world to speak to our faculty, staff and community. See below for the range of renowned educational thinkers and speakers who will visit ISP in 2018/19.

ISP’s excellent facilities also allow the school to host a significant number of conferences. In recent years ISP has hosted the Central and European School Association (CEESA) Conference, Ibicus International Baccalaureate workshops, the Czech National Teachers Conference and a memorable visit from the totemic British primatologist, Dr. Jane Goodall. Please contact us if you are interested in conferences at ISP.

Visiting Experts

Deb Wilenski

Several Visits over 2018/19 – Deb Wilenski is a pedagogical consultant, educator, writer, and graphic designer working with Reflections Nursery and Forest School (West Sussex, UK) and Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (Cambridge, UK).

With a background in Biological Anthropology and the Arts, she is inspired by the preschools and infant-toddler centres of Reggio Emilia, the woodland nurseries of Scandinavia, and by projects which value children as radical makers of culture and meaning.

Kath Murdoch

October 2-4 2018 – Kath Murdoch is an experienced teacher, author, university lecturer and popular consultant who has worked for many years in schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, America and Europe. She is widely respected for her work in the field of inquiry based learning and integrative curriculum in which she has taught, researched and published for well over 20 years.

Garfield Gini-Newman

October 8-10 2018 – Garfield Gini-Newman is an associate professor at OISE/University of Toronto and the senior national consultant with The Critical Thinking Consortium. He has worked with thousands of teachers across grades and subjects, helping them to frame learning around engaging and provocative activities and authentic assessments.

Rosalind Wiseman

November 25-27 2018 – Rosalind Wiseman is an educator, writer, and founder of Cultures of Dignity. For over two decades she has been talking with, listening to, and occasionally arguing with young people about everything and anything that’s important to them. She has authored five books — two of which hit the NYT Bestseller List. Rosalind’s non-fiction books are titled, Queen Bees & Wannabes, Masterminds & Wingmen, The Guide, Queen Bees Moms & King Pin Dads, and the Owning Up curriculum.

Ochan Powell

December 4-12 2018 – Ochan Kusuma-Powell is co-founder and director of Education Across Frontiers, an organization that promotes teacher education towards the development of professional learning communities. A graduate of Columbia University with a doctorate in international education development, she has more than 25 years experience in international education and is actively involved in supporting international schools to become more inclusive of students with special needs. Ochan has worked as a consultant to international schools in the areas of differentiated instruction, developing teacher emotional intelligence, collaboration and coaching. She is an Associate Trainer for Thinking Collaborative, for both Cognitive Coaching as well as Adaptive Schools.

Jennifer Abrams

April 5-6 – Jennifer Abrams is an international educational and communications consultant for public and independent schools, hospitals, universities and non-profits. Jennifer trains and coaches teachers, administrators, nurses, hospital personnel, and others on new employee support, supervision, being generationally savvy, having hard conversations and effective collaboration skills.

Professional Development for Faculty and Staff

Professional Learning is something that Faculty and Staff live and breathe at ISP. Faculty and Staff can build on their knowledge in their chosen educational fields but also have the opportunity to grow professionally in a host of directions.

Professional Learning Salons take place at ISP four times every school year and encompass a range of topics some of which are directly related the role of the educator, such as, to name but a few; Learning Environments, Learning Support, Critical Thinking, Listening Techniques. Other Salons aim to stimulate creativity and promote good health, such as, for instance; Drawing to Learn, 3D Printing, Health and Wellbeing and Yoga and Mindfullness.

ISP is very active in regional and international educational networks and in 2018 hosted the Central and Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA) Conference. ISP Faculty are regularly involved and indeed take lead roles in educational conferences and professional learning opportunities around Europe and beyond.