WISSIT

The Washington International School Summer Institute for Teachers (WISSIT): Connecting DC Educators with Project Zero Ideas brings together educators from all types of schools—traditional public, public charter, independent, and religiously-affiliated—as well as from community-based early learning centers, museums, and other educational settings, for the purpose of exploring ideas, pedagogical tools, and frameworks developed at Project Zero (PZ), a research group at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

WISSIT ‘18 featured renowned Project Zero researchers Veronica Boix Mansilla, Edward Clapp, Mara Krechevsky, Ben Mardell, Ron Ritchhart, Sarah Sheya, and Shari Tishman, in addition to leading PZ practitioners from the DC area.

Given the impact Project Zero conferences and institutes have had on educators around the globe, this week of professional learning was a transformational experience. The learning will continue into the academic year, as participants gather for workshops and share classroom experiences in person or through online forums.

WISSIT is guided by the belief that the best schools are those where teachers continuously improve their practice through collaboration and reflection. The institute asked participants to reflect deeply on how they design and facilitate enriching, rigorous, and relevant learning opportunities for their students and included 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 across a school?

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?

Encouraging Creativity and “Maker Thinking” in Children: What can we learn from the practices of educators in the arts and in the maker movement? How might we encourage creativity, play and DIY habits of mind that are relevant to all disciplines?

WISSIT is made possible by generous support from an EE Ford Foundation Educational Leadership Grant, as well as contributions from a number of organizations and individual donors. (Learn more about the history behind WISSIT here.) For more information, contact Jim Reese, Director of WISSIT, at jim.reese@wis.edu.