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Growing the School Mission


As part of our strategic plan, we at the International School of Prague are developing a Professional Learning Community (PLC) environment in which teachers and other community members can advance real school change. To prepare for the opening faculty orientation workshop, teachers were asked to choose a resource associated with one of four strategic theme. The intention was to provide teachers with challenging and compelling ideas to consider, discuss and work with. Below are the four strategic themes and resources (with links) used in this workshop:

  1. 21st Century Schools

  2. A Diploma Worth Having – Wiggins

  3. ACOT2 Apple Classroom of Tomorrow

  4. Designing new learning environments – Pearlman

  5. Leadership for Learning – Powell

  6. Do schools kill creativity doc/video link- Sir Ken Robinson

  7. 21st Century Skills

  8. Comparing Frameworks for “21st Century Skills” – Dede

  9. 5 minds for the future – Gardner

  10. Innovation Through Technology – Lemke

  11. Preparing Creative and Critical Thinkers – Treffinger

  12. Assessment for Learning

  13. Authentic Assessment

  14. Drive – Dan Pink

  15. From Degrading to De-Grading – Kohn

  16. Authentic Learning/Inquiry in Practice

  17. Seven-Practices for Effective Learning – McTighe, O’conner

  18. Show-Us-What-Homework’s-For – Cushman

  19. inquiry learning – Murdoch

  20. Making thinking visible – Ritchhart, Perkins

  21. Problem Based Learning – Barell

During the workshop, each faculty group identified “big ideas” based on guiding questions:

  1. What are the implications to our practice?

  2. What are potential implications to the school?

  3. What are the barriers to innovation at ISP?

  4. What are our next steps?

We view this as a first step in the process of forming “focus groups” or “action research” groups, who will eventually advance ways for the school to improve and innovate.

In order to escape the fate of becoming curious artifacts of 20th century education, schools around the world are addressing the sometimes daunting challenge of profound systemic change. While a revolution in how schools function in the twenty first century is inevitable, dare I use the tag line from the new movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes, “Evolution becomes Revolution.” The challenge of school change is to create a path which honors the current structures while simultaneously and profoundly changing them. But I’ll leave that to another installment.

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