A school can be only as good as its teachers. The best schools are those where teachers continuously improve their practice through collaboration and guided self-reflection.

What if we were to bring together motivated teachers from a wide variety of schools, engage in deep discussion about effective teaching, and provide support when they return to their schools, where they implement what they have learned? What if these teachers were able to build a school-wide culture of reflection and collaboration with their colleagues?

This is the vision of the Washington International School Summer Institute for Teachers (WISSIT): Connecting DC Educators with Project Zero Ideas. We invite you to invest in one week of quality professional development next summer in order to reap the dividends of a year’s worth of support and guidance! Join educators from all over the Washington, DC, area and learn alongside renowned researchers and experienced practitioners.

This initiative has been made possible by an Educational Leadership Grant from the E.E. Ford Foundation and matching grant donors.

The fourth annual WISSIT will take place Monday-Friday, July 31-August 4, 2017, at Washington International School’s Tregaron campus in Cleveland Park. WISSIT 2017 faculty will feature Project Zero researchers Veronica Boix Mansilla, Mara Krechevsky, Ben Mardell and Ron Ritchhart, as well as leading educators from the Washington area. Participants will hail from traditional public, public charter, independent and parochial schools, as well as from museums and other educational organizations.

Throughout the week, institute faculty will facilitate an examination of ideas, tools and frameworks developed at Project Zero (PZ), a research group at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Given the impact Project Zero conferences and institutes have had on educators around the globe, we see this week of learning as a transformational professional development experience for participants. The learning will continue into the academic year, as participants and other educators in the DC-Project Zero group gather for workshops and share classroom experiences in person or through online forums.

The institute invites educators to reflect deeply on how they design and facilitate enriching, rigorous learning opportunities for their students. A “Day at the Museums” on Wednesday, August 2, will highlight the ways educators can use museums as powerful sites for learning. The week-long experience includes both large and small group sessions, each addressing the following strands:

  • Building a Culture of Thinking: How do we help learners develop dispositions that support thoughtful learning across school subjects? How do we effectively create a culture of thinking, in classrooms and school-wide?
  • Educating for Global Competence: How do learners demonstrate global competence? How do educators ensure that learners in their charge explore complex issues of global significance through multiple perspectives?
Registration for WISSIT 2017 will open in January 2017. If you have questions, contact Jim Reese, WISSIT Director, at reesej@wis.edu.