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

Youth is NOT wasted on the young

Each year at this time, schools around the world celebrate their graduates achievements and wish them success as they venture out into the world. Last week’s blog highlighted the words of one of our graduate speakers and this week I leave you with my words to the graduates and their families, entitled “Youth is NOT Wasted on the Young.” It is an honor for me to welcome you to the graduation ceremony for the class of 2016! We are all very proudRead more

Float like a butterfly sting like a bee

The world has lost a great man, a fighter whose life optimized audacity and courage, not only because he was a brilliant and beautiful athlete, but because he stood up and spoke truth to power.   “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong” At the height of the civil rights movement in the United States in the mid 1960s, when large swathes of the country were deeply polarized and still largely segregated, Muhammad Ali, a world champion boxer, refused to fightRead more

Where is my home?

As is the tradition in countless schools and universities around the world, ISP recently convened its graduation ceremony for the class of 2016. We are fortunate indeed to have the opportunity to honor and celebrate with our graduates and their families in one of the most beautiful cities in the world Prague, in one its splendid landmark buildings, Zofin Palace. Each year students, teachers and administrators have an opportunity to share our thoughts about the graduates and their futures. While there were manyRead 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

History on our doorstep

It’s all over the news. Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing their homelands in order to survive and risking their lives to do so. While thousands are arriving in Europe every day, they represent a tiny fraction of the refugee population, for example there are about one million Syrian refugees just in Lebanon. Here are some of some “facts on the ground.” (Europe’s Refugee Crisis by the Numbers-Yahoo News) Number of displaced people internally after Syrian conflict: More than 6 million RegisteredRead more

What it means to be truly educated

This past week, we at the International School of Prague once again began the new academic year, welcoming a diverse community of learners from over 60 nationalities. It is especially as the new school year begins that educators reflect on why we do what we do and what we wish for our students. In other words, what does it mean to be truly educated?  While a response to this question has been articulated many times before in many ways, I think that the great linguist,Read more