Learners at the Centre: Opt-in Gradeless Prototype at the International School of Prague

Think back to when you were a student in school. Like most of us, you regularly received a grade on a test, homework assignment, participation, report card, you name it! Can you recall how it made you feel and if it helped or hindered your learning? A major challenge for many schools and a well researched obstacle to learning is grading. A number of years ago we at the International School of Prague, took on the challenge of changing ourRead more

Stretch Day @ the International School of Prague

One way we encourage deeper, experiential and authentic learning at ISP is through Stretch Days, where students have the opportunity focus on a particular area of learning unencumbered by the traditional bell schedule. By eliminating the usual rotation of classes, where students move from one subject to the next, stretch days allow for longer periods of flexible time for teachers to organize learning experiences which support students to go deeper and learn by doing, without the usual interruptions. As IRead more

“EMPOWERED LEARNERS” THE 28TH ANNUAL CEESA CONFERENCE IN PRAGUE MARCH 15-17, 2018

From the Director of the International School of Prague, Dr. Arnie Bieber Dear Friends and Colleagues, On behalf of the International School of Prague community, it is a pleasure to invite you to attend and participate in the 28th annual CEESA Conference this March in the beautiful city of Prague. Described in ancient texts as “The City of 100 spires” and “The Golden City”, Prague is a true jewel in the heart of Europe. Here, in this wondrous city, youRead more

My Visit to China

While headquartered in London, ECIS is a global organization with over 400 member schools in over 90 countries on six continents. Last week in my capacity as Chair of ECIS Board of Trustees, I had the honor to help launch our new ECIS China office, in Beijing. It was an exciting time of visiting schools, meeting with ECIS China colleagues, Chinese educators and international school representatives from throughout the country and making new friends. It was my first visit to BeijingRead more

How do you learn to cook?

I recently attended the ECIS (Educational Collaborative for International Schools) Educators Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, with the theme, Cultivating Curiosity. The theme of cultivating curiosity reminded me of one of ISP‘s (International School of Prague) strategic goals, “Curiosity drives what and how we learn.”  It is through curiosity and personal relevance (another ISP strategy!), that all students, young and old, will be deeply engaged in the learning process. For students to take their own personal paths to learning in school, teachers must create rich environments and multiple learningRead more

You can’t teach people everything they need to know.

As the school year begins, it is fitting and timely to call attention to an educational visionary and provocative thinker who recently passed away. For over a half century Seymour Papert led the call for schools to empower students to have greater control over their learning. Seymour Aubrey Papert (February 29, 1928 – July 31, 2016) was a South African-born American mathematician, computer scientist, and educator, who spent most of his career teaching and researching at MIT.[1] He was one of the pioneers of artificialRead more

The Nature of Nurture

I was recently invited to write an article for the RSA Journal on the topic of school change, innovation and creativity. The resulting article, The Nature of Nurture (RSA Journal, Issue 1, 2016) talks about the importance of bringing all stakeholders; teachers, students, parents and the broader community, into the school change process as well as present some of the concrete steps ISP is taking to move the school closer to its mission of Inspiring, Engaging and Empowering Learners for Life.  “A key step towards meaningful schoolRead more

Guiding Light Lost – Grant Wiggins

I was saddened to learn that a great leading light in the world of progressive education had passed away, Grant Wiggins. Although I had the opportunity to meet Grant on a few occasions, I did not know him well. Nonetheless, his work had a profound impact on me and my work and the work of thousands of educators from around the world. Grant was an educational leader who was willing to “tell it like it is.” Among many other important contributions,Read more

Future ready?

Welcome to the twenty first century, where we are inundated with phrases like, “the world is rapidly changing” or “the world is flat.” We’ve heard the clarion call about the world today and tomorrow and we know it’s true. In the blink of an eye, thousands of new strands of information and knowledge, compelling or useless, ground-breaking or trivial, endlessly stream across the globe and our devices. Great leaps in medicine, technology, robotics, new discoveries, new ways of communicating, as well as impending crisis from global warming to unbridled barbaricRead more

To boldly go…

The great Leonard Nimoy, known to most as the logical Vulcan, Mr. Spock, sadly passed away recently at the age of 83. The Star Trek franchise and in particular the Mr. Spock character sparked the imagination of millions of children (and adults) from around the world. Mixing fantasy, science and kitsch, Star Trek portrayed a world of the future with strange beings, talking computers, tricorders, transporters and phasers. These days, many of the futuristic ideas unveiled in Star Trek seem less and less likeRead more