The Washington International School Summer Institute for Teachers (WISSIT) 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 sessions have featured renowned Project Zero researchers Veronica Boix MansillaEdward ClappMara KrechevskyBen MardellRon RitchhartSarah Sheya, and Shari Tishman, in addition to leading PZ practitioners from the DC area.

This intense—and fun!—week of professional learning introduces educators to effective strategies for cultivating deep thinking and understanding at all grade levels and across subject areas. The learning continues 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 asks participants to reflect deeply on how they design and facilitate enriching, rigorous, and relevant learning opportunities for their students and includes both large and small group sessions, each addressing the following strands:

Building a Culture of Thinking: How do we develop dispositions that lead to thoughtful learning across school subjects, and beyond? How do we effectively create a culture of thinking, in classrooms and schools, that supports all learners?

Learning Deeply with Museum Resources: What can we—educators and students—learn from objects, artworks and archival materials to deepen our understanding of, and engagement with, the curriculum? How can we leverage the unique museum resources that exist in our community?

Encouraging Playful Learning, Creativity, and a “Maker” Mindset: In response to the challenging two years we have just experienced, how can play, creativity and making re-ignite joy in learning? How do they help us to be attuned to nuance?

Fostering Civic Agency in Young People: How do we guide students to develop the capacity and desire to act in positive ways to improve the world around them? How do we lift up young people’s voices and ideas?

The eleventh annual WISSIT will be held Monday, August 5-Friday, August 9, 2024.

WISSIT has been 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. For more information, contact Jim Reese, Director of WISSIT, at jim.reese@wis.edu.

WISSIT 2024 will be held Monday, August 5-Friday, August 9.