NEW!!! December 2021 - Grade 12 Research Showcase

In December 2021 we held our first Grade 12 Research Showcase. Our Diploma Programme (DP) students had the opportunity, via Zoom, to share with younger students how they successfully completed required coursework: internal assessments, the Extended Essay, the theory of knowledge exhibition or creativity, activity and service (CAS) projects. 

The Research Showcase was a perfect way for younger students to learn about future coursework directly from those experiencing it. A few tips from the day:

  • Choose research topics that truly interest you; you'll be spending a lot of time on these projects and you'll get motivation from learning about something you love.
  • Reach out to others for feedback and help with your research; be willing to use your knowledge and experience to help others.
  • Demonstrating your ability to problem solve is often more important than showing examiners that you have the "right" answer. 

You can see two of the videos from the conference below, but there are many more on our research tools platform, DIRection. Visit this site for information on the DP and all of our December presenters!

Pascale presents her biology internal assessment on bioluminescent algae to grade 6 students. 
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Nina presents her maths internal assessment on the learning curve for speedcubing to her fellow grade 12 students. 
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September 2021 - The ISP x Co-Design It Workshop

ISP and Co-Design It recently organised a workshop for presenters at the June 2021 Student-Led Learning Conference (for info about the conference keep scrolling). The objective: work together across age groups in order to solve some big challenges. Check out some pictures and quotes from the day!

My most important learning about the simplicity of brainstorming...
taking the initiative to spend time creating feasible solutions.
Saachi, student participant
It's easy to segregate people by age and forget how much young people have to offer. I'm going to remember not to think people of different ages can't collaborate to create something successful.
Pascale, student participant
Using physical materials helped to catalyse ideas and sharing between age groups.
Emma, adult participant



June 2021 - Student-Led Learning Conference and Fellows' Action Research Projects

ISP's annual research conference was entirely planned and executed by our Student Research Curators! They gathered over 15 student presenters, who shared their research virtually with their peers via ISP's purpose-built WorkAdventure Platform. They invited 3 special guests: author Brandy Colbert, humanitarian Emmanuel Kumadze and American Library in Paris librarian Bojan Kupirović. Lastly, the Student Curators showcased research projects coordinated by the 2021 cohort of ISP staff Research Fellows, including a whole-school escape game that focused on collaboration and research skills.  

Find out everything about the conference by exploring the content below!

Blog - Summary of 2021 Staff Research Fellows' Projects
Escape Game 2021

According to McKinsey, agility is “…the ability of an organisation to renew itself, adapt, change quickly, and succeed in a rapidly changing, ambiguous, turbulent environment.”  Interestingly, McKinsey also states that “agility requires stability…” ISP met the requirement to adapt teaching and learning during the pandemic by relying on its staff action research fellowship program, present and robust since the 2014-2015 academic year.

A professional development staple at ISP, the staff action research fellowship program allots resources to all staff, both teaching and administrative, who wish to explore and innovate within a domain of their choice. Working collectively or individually, ISP staff have, since 2014, researched and implemented:

  • a student work experience week;
  • various mindfulness and wellbeing techniques;
  • best practices for holding meetings; 
  • a human library; 
  • mathematical mindsets; 
  • intergenerational learning; 
  • student novels;
  • and the list continues!
  • conference
  • research
  • student-led
Scan this QR code to download the 2021 conference app. 
Conference 2021 App


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Wiktoria's Esprit de Corps Project, one of many student research projects presented at the 2021 conference





What Are Our Research Focus Areas in 2021-22?

ISP's high quality learning definition is as follows: "High quality learning is a social and experiential practice. It sparks students' curiosity and stimulates their natural creativity. It inspires them to strive for excellence and to take ownership of their own inquiry and research. It shapes the learner and the learning community, nurturing growth and new understandings." Look for projects linked to our high quality learning definition, in addition to the continued development of our Human Library and DIRection, our research tools platform. To find out more about our projects, please contact us at



2021 ELSA Webinars

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!

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


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?



2021-22 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...

high quality learning is a social and experiential practice; it sparks learners' curiosity and stimulates their natural creativity; it inspires them to strive for excellence and to take ownership of their inquiry and research; it shapes the learner and the learning community, nurturing growth and new understandings. 

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 57-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.