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!
Without exception, all of the ISP research fellows’ projects allow the organisation to respond to student needs during complex times. The 2020-21 cohort did not disappoint – their research, some of it summarised below, moved the organisation forward leaps and bounds.
2020-21 Research Projects – A Summary
1. Assil and Marianne – authentic learning experiences during confinement thanks to the Human Library
Assil and Marianne created the Human Library three years ago as a way to connect student researchers to adults in the ISP community with real-world experience. The Human Library became increasingly important – and visible – during the pandemic as it was an established means for creating research relationships between students and adults. The community turned to the Human Library during COVID for authentic expertise AND human connection.
2. Oliva – virtual escape rooms to improve student engagement
Olivia, Head of Maths at the secondary school, honed her skills in virtual escape room creation and used the results to impact student engagement while they learned from home during confinement. For the annual Student-Led Learning Conference, Olivia developed a whole-school escape room; this allowed her to demonstrate what makes an escape room successful, both technically (ICT) and in terms of human resources and implication.
3. Branka – resource provision to English as Additional Language students
English as Additional Language (EAL) students struggled during confinement without their usual support systems and preferred learning conditions. Branka’s research focused on providing differentiated resources to EAL students in a timely and relevant manner, whether students were learning from home or at school. Her findings might change how you think about EAL support and resources.
What’s Upcoming for Research and Professional Development at ISP in 2021-2022?
A new cohort of research fellows will be selected during September and October of 2021. New research fellows will join those that plan on continuing their 2020-2021 projects; the Human Library project, the sustainability policy project and the mindfulness project will all continue during the upcoming academic year.