NEW!!! ELSA webinars are back in 2021!!!

The English Language Schools Association (ELSA) believes professional learning matters. That's why they are excited to host a series of webinars for educators that will allow professional development to continue through confinement and beyond!

Use this link to see a list of planned webinars and to register. 

Sean Walker on Conceptual Learning and Understanding
January 11th, 2021 from 18:00 to 19:15 CET

This interactive workshop will explore the big ideas of conceptual learning and teaching for understanding. We will unpack the idea of what concepts actually are and give examples of how best to connect students to these abstract ideas. We will explore the reasons for teaching for understanding and consider what evidence of understanding might look like in our classrooms. The workshop will make use of some theoretical models and showcase examples from primary school students. However, the ideas of conceptual learning and teaching for understanding can also apply to older students. 

Sean Walker is currently a Grade 2 teacher at the International School of Paris. He previously worked in London and Atlanta, Georgia. Sean has held positions of responsibility, such as curriculum coordinator and deputy principal, alongside being a classroom teacher for the past 25 years. Sean is a workshop leader for the PYP (Primary Years Programme) and is a certified Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction Leader. Learn more about Sean by listening to his podcast on inquiry, reading his recent blog post or by connecting on Twitter @SeanPYPParis

Register here!


Assil Charara and Stephine Corso on Creating a Human Library
January 25th, 2021 from 18:00 to 19:15 CET

A human library is, in this instance, a collection of parent and staff volunteers who agree to share their knowledge and expertise with students.

We created a human library with breathing books at the International School of Paris and implemented it during the 2019-20 academic year.  The human library creators studied, using action research, the impact of calling upon authentic expertise to spark inquiry. The stud​y​ focused on inquiry in the PYP Exhibition and the Grade 10 Personal Project.

This webinar will lead you through a case study that can help you build your own human library. Learn from our mistakes and successes in order to start sparking deeper inquiry in your own learning environments.

Some questions we'll answer in the case study and during the webinar:

  • How was the inquiry cycle used to create the human library?
  • How do we co-construct knowledge as a learning community? And how do we ensure all learners have access to this knowledge?
  • How do we strengthen the link between home and school?
  • How did the human library create and maintain human connections during confinement?
  • How do we ensure a continuum of research skills across programmes?

Register here!



What Are Our Research Focus Areas in 2020-21?

Following COVID-19 confinement, the ISP Centre for Research and Professional Development will continue its research and assessment of distance learning practices. We will pay particular attention to the role of the educator, which is rapidly evolving in response to the complexities of our new social and political landscapes. "Research the ISP Way" is our theme for 2020-21 and our mantra as we continue to develop our Human Library and launch DIRection, our research tools platform. To find out more about our projects, please contact us at We hope to transform isolation into relationships, sharing insight that will help us think differently about learning and teaching in a new era. 

2020-21 Calendar of Research and Professional Development Events

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How Is Research Defined at ISP?

All members of the ISP community believe that...

  • inspiring inquiry and innovation is important;
  • learning is not a journey to a destination, it is a mindset;
  • it is important to participate actively in the development of innovative and influential educational practices;
  • research should be embedded in student learning and professional practice.

The Centre for Research and Professional Development at the International School of Paris is a network of individuals whose collective curiosity drives knowledge generation. Network members seek to close the gap between theory and classroom practice and to contribute more profoundly to the creation of a learning society.

The Centre for Research and Professional Development:

  • offers professional development opportunities that prioritise personal growth;
  • produces learning tools that facilitate student and teacher research;
  • is developing a mentoring programme that will serve both the ISP and a broader community.

To find out more, download the ISP Centre for Research and Professional Development brochure.

The Research Network

Researchers are at the centre of the ISP research network. Mentors assist researchers by providing necessary support, including methodological advice or assistance in presenting a research project. The Steering Committee members set the strategic direction and goals for the Centre in addition to providing guidance in important domains, such as ethics. Curators recruit and train mentors and celebrate community achievements.


All members of the learning community will understand that they are the link between what we know and what we have not yet discovered.
ISP Research Centre Steering Committee, 2019
In all IB programmes, teaching is based on inquiry. A strong emphasis is placed on students finding their own information and constructing their own understandings.
The International Baccalaureate, 2017
The natural counterpoint to an inquiry-based curriculum is a research-led organisation.
Simon Murray, 2017

How Can I Contact or Join the ISP Centre for Research and Professional Development?

To learn more, or to join the network, please contact:
The ISP Research Centre Steering Committee,
Follow us on Twitter @isparisedu and search for #ISPresearch for the most recent research news.






      The History of the Centre for Research and Professional Development

      Professional learning at ISP has always been an attitude of mind and a programme of supported activities.

      During its 56-year history, the School has invested significantly in conventional training, in partnership with both national and international agencies. The ISP community benefits from the considerable expertise of existing faculty, many of whom are examiners, workshop leaders and conference speakers.

      In 2014 ISP created an action research community which contributes to educational development and innovation, whether through ongoing research groups, the annual research conference and debate series or the School's role as the Paris host to IB Workshops.