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

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

Will you be an Anvil or a Hammer?

The end of the school year is always a time of mixed emotions, especially for high school graduates who look to their futures with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. At ISP, like many schools, graduation is a truly joyous occasion. Families and friend from throughout the world come to Prague to join in on the celebration. We are fortunate to hold our graduation ceremony at the grand and ornate Zofin Palace, built in the 1830’s and named after PrincessRead more

To Succeed in the 21st Century We Need To Learn, Unlearn and Re-learn

Below is my full interview with Czech Leaders Magazine appearing in the January – March 2017 issue. Imagine the atmosphere of a school where there is a palpable sense of creative thinking, where one can see the arts, choirs, music and film production, and at the same time a clear focus on scientific experimentation. Imagine life as a student being able to experiment, design and then print out your blueprint on a 3D printer or a laser cutter as part of theRead 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

“The Shadow Knows”… a day in the life of a student

As Director of the International School of Prague (ISP), I like to believe that I work hard every day, but yesterday I gained a new perspective on hard work, having “shadowed” Grace, a grade 9 student at ISP, for a day. While I often visit classrooms and observe kids learning and teachers teaching, spending a full day shadowing one student, from class to class, as well as lunch, is a very different experience and one I highly recommend, especially to other school decision makers. IRead more

Knowledge isn’t Power

“Knowledge isn’t power. Knowledge is something you Google” – Danny Gregory In order to include parents in crucial conversations about how schools are changing to meet the needs of today’s student, the International School of Prague engages parents in a regular series of thought-provoking workshops called, The Edge in Education. The Edge is an opportunity to discuss current and future trends in education and to engage parents in dialogue  about how to best support their children. Previous topics addressed in Edge workshops include: October 8, 2015: “The Power ofRead more

The Fourth “I”

Each year, at graduation time we ask ourselves, “How well have we prepared our students for the future?” Given the unprecedented rate of change in the world, this is a question with no easy answer. My graduation address to the class of 2015, at the stunning Palac Zofin in Prague, was an attempt to perhaps point them in the right direction: Every parent wants their child to be happy and successful, or as we say at ISP to “lead healthy, fulfilling and purposeful lives.” Each year whenRead more