Embracing Change – International School of Paris Research Conference 2017

"I believe the process of education goes from disorder to order." - Professor Sugata Mitra, 2017

This statement, spoken by Professor Sugata Mitra during his keynote speech at the Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine on October 27, 2017, perfectly summarizes his own views on the future of education, as well as what ISP researchers learned during their year-long participation in the Leading Edge Action Research Program.

The third cohort of ISP's action researchers started 2017 with a process characterized by disorder: asking big questions, or, as defined by Professor Mitra, questions that don't yet have answers. These included: Can literary creation develop imagination and critical thinking? Can technology be used to promote a culture of service learning? Is it possible to enhance mathematical mind-sets?

After months of investigation, the 11 big questions asked by the cohort developed into thoughtful and structured research projects. The projects were presented to staff, parents, students, and external partners on Thursday, October 26 and on Friday, October 27, just before Professor Mitra's keynote. The lively interactions during the two conference days not only enhanced the impact of the 11 projects, but also raised more big questions to tackle in the future.

The most important of these new questions is perhaps: "What's next?" Professor Mitra, impressed by ISP's efforts to "do something about the future", has volunteered to keep close contact with the school as an editor of its published research journal, to be launched in 2019. In January, the 2018-19 cohort will ask their big questions, all in preparation for the next conference, to be held at the new Cortambert campus.

While waiting for the launch of the journal and the opening of the research center at Cortambert, please keep a close eye on our research webpage where we will post the video recording of Professor Mitra's talk, as well as more information on this year's research and the implementation of findings at the school.

Watch some highlights from Thursday's action research presentations in this video:

"I'm really happy that our family happens to be in Paris and at ISP at this time. The positive energy and atmosphere in the school are amazing, and I'm grateful to be able to join in and experience this. The conference events were all great, and I especially enjoyed having a chance to hear Professor Mitra's speech." - Marita Haasbroek, ISP parent

Read more about the Cortambert campus

Read more about our Strategic Plan

"The natural counterpoint to an inquiry-based curriculum is a research-led organization." - Simon Murray, Head of School

A big thank you to Benoit Briand for taking the photographs during these events!

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