Action Research Projects 2017


Will providing students with more opportunities to engage with science vocabulary and with resources in their mother tongue increase their conceptual understanding in science?

Barry Cartwright and Laura Climmer
#embracingchange, #studentengagement

Through literature reviews and student interviews, three specific intervention strategies were tried to increase student conceptual understanding: Word walls, modified rubrics, and resources in their mother tongue. Our support for these students in the science classroom did not provide the hoped for results in their science learning, perhaps because of other larger issues at play.

How can playing with our understanding of the Reggio Emilia approach impact on our PYP classrooms?

Michelle Metail and Fiona Symons
#embracingchange, #studentengagement


In 2016 we participated in a week-long study group in Reggio Emilia, visiting schools, the recycling center, and the Loris Malaguzzi International Center.

This provoked us to inquire into how the philosophy behind learning in the Reggio Emilia schools could impact on teaching and learning in our classes.

As we reflected on our practice and students, we felt that our teaching was content driven and the pace too fast. We were inspired by the learning, environment, documentation, the creative use of resources, and the way that the outside was brought in and the inside out in the schools of Reggio Emilia.

How can I improve inter-generational activities in language class?

Monica Devos
#embracingchange, #servicelearning

The purpose of this research is to analyze and improve ISP’s inter-generational activities in French class. These programs encourage students to practice the language of the host country beyond the class, to gain confidence in communicating with the local community, to expand their socialization and to help them to integrate into their new environment.

How can we use ICT skills to promote a culture of service learning?

Assil Charara, Marianne Freire and Ling Lin
#embracingchange, #servicelearning

Our action research was to improve the ways that students can use Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) as an effective tool in promoting a culture of Service Learning at ISP. The framework for our study also allowed us to explore the acquisition of certain ICT skills to address authentic community needs and to identify effective ways to encourage student agency.

How does the choice of EdTech partners impact motivation in foreign language learners?

Stephine Corso and Bérénice Loiseau
#embracingchange, #edtech

In an era where technology is ubiquitous, it is important to consider whether or not technological innovation can impact foreign language learners. It is also important to define innovation and to examine its potential impacts in other subject areas, in school-wide pedagogical decision making, or in school strategic development. This study examines a particular type of technological innovation, artificial intelligence (AI), by comparing the conception and function of two AI tools, and measuring the impact of one of these tools on motivation.

How can we enhance service learning throughout the school?

Elise Camy-Palou, Mylène Foucher and Tuija Wallgren
#embracingchange, #servicelearning

We aspire to create a continuum of service learning throughout our three-program, soon to be three-campus school. This study is an opportunity for us to try to clarify and harmonize the terminology that we use. Words carry a meaning and we wish to avoid misconceptions and miscommunication. We have also looked at how we can better promote our service learning program at the Secondary School and help our students take action.

Could more be done to shape the Learner Profile to ISP and fully embed the ethos across the community?

Elisabeth Mailhac
#embracingchange, #socioemotionallearning

As a new member of staff in a wellbeing capacity, I felt that the Learner Profile did not have a strong presence in the school. Whilst children were emotionally articulate in their interactions, there seemed to be little common vocabulary based on a set of values to shape their daily interactions.

By collecting pupil, parent, and staff voice, I gained a clearer picture of the range of understanding and everyday use of the Learner Profile at ISP. I also looked further afield to see how other settings, both IB and non-IB, embedded their own values and ethos. I am now exploring bespoke strategies for ISP, looking to deepen the understanding and use of the Learner Profile, making it more tangible in all our interactions across the school.

How might we enhance mathematical mind-sets?

Kate Grant, John Hatch and Jacquelyn Todd-Morel
#embracingchange, #growthmindset

Our purpose was to carry out action research in order to enhance mathematical mind-sets at ISP Primary. We noticed through reading Individual Learning Programs and in conversations with teachers that students and teachers who lack confidence in mathematics struggle to learn and to teach it. We think mathematical mind-sets matter!

We initiated the project by examining our own mind-sets and followed this up with designing small tasks and interviews for students and teachers in order to gather data. We explored mathematical mind-sets through a Stanford University course, ‘Youcubed’ and the book, ‘Mathematical Mind-sets’ by Jo Boaler which became our anchor text. Engaging in low floor high ceiling mathematical tasks ourselves helped our understanding of mathematical mind-sets, mathematics itself, and the diversity of approaches to problem solving to grow.

How can I develop my feedback and instruction to improve my students' use of English grammar?

Jonathan James
#embracingchange, #actionresearch

Anyone else afraid of the G word? After ten years of running away from grammar, this teacher seeks to improve the quality of students' writing (as well as their grades) by grappling with a topic that has been a turnoff for students and teachers across the world. He finds, to his relief, that the answer lies less in 'teaching grammar' and more in drawing students' attention to how sentences work and to the effect of their linguistic choices. Through understanding the ways in which writers - including themselves - use language to achieve a given purpose, students in grades 6 and 7 have made progress in their syntax and their use of narrative tenses.

How can we use literary creation as an instrument to achieve interest in reading?

Lenin Solano
#embracingchange, #studentengagement

The objective of this project is twofold: first, to foster the students' interest in Spanish literature. Second, it also intends to develop their vocabulary and writing skills during the creative writing process. However, the goal is not to make students feel 'forced' to read a book simply because it is a classic. The Argentinian write Jorge Luis Borges said "if a book does not catch you, it is not made for you; you should rather leave it as there are millions of books to choose from".

How can we improve the visibility of ISP at local, national and international levels?

Nina Wilson-Bury and Anne Bagamery
#embracingchange, #actionresearch

Registrations in ISP Plus, the weekend and holiday extension program of the International School of Paris, were not meeting expectations. We believed that this was due to a lack of awareness in the local community, and that by raising awareness, we would see an increase in registrations. After some research and training in social media marketing, we decided to compare registrations before and after using some social media marketing strategies, including creating an Instagram account, cross-promoting social media feeds, and investing in paid promotional articles on online publications aimed at our perceived target market. When the first round of data showed higher awareness (measured in views) but not engagement (measured in requests for information or registrations), we further investigated our efforts with one social media channel - Facebook - and tried new approaches, including using video and a call to action.