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

A Surprising Tranquility – My Day at PreKindergarten

One of the best ways for adults to really understand how a student experiences life and learning in school is by spending a full day shadowing a student. A few weeks ago, I posted a blog about my experience of shadowing grade 4 student, Maria: A day in the life – Shadow a Student Challenge. This year many of our leaders at ISP are shadowing students, including Tony McLaughlin, ISP Communications Manager. He tells his story called “A Surprising Tranquility” below: This week I took on the InternationalRead more

A day in the life – Shadow a Student Challenge

As part of the international Shadow a Student Challenge, last year I blogged about my experience of shadowing a grade 9 student, Grace, throughout her day at the International School of Prague. In a very positive sense, I got much more than I bargained for. This time it was Maria in grade 4 whom I had the pleasure of shadowing throughout her day of learning at ISP. I can truly say that while I was exhausted at the end of our day, IRead 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

“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

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

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