MISO + International School of Paris (ISP): A Great Research Mix!

Providing tools to help students improve their research is one of the goals of the International School of Paris (ISP) Centre for Research and Professional Development. This year the focus has been on MISO – media, interview, survey, observation – a tool very familiar to our primary school students, and one that merits a place in classrooms at every level. 

Cathryn Berger Kaye developed MISO as a tool to use during the investigation stage of her service learning pedagogy. Today, she says, it also serves as a reminder to students that “…research is more than just a Google search. It’s re-looking and adding to the body of knowledge based on this new examination.” Consulting multiple sources of information by following the MISO methodology is an efficient way to construct a new understanding of a topic. 

Implementing MISO at the ISP Primary School

ISP primary school librarian, Assil Charara, has regularly used MISO since meeting Cathy Berger Kaye over two years ago. This year though, as a key member of the team helping Grade 5 students prepare their research exhibitions, she wanted to make sure MISO was their reference for all questions related to the research process. 

She mobilized the Research Centre Curators, giving them the goal of creating a MISO visual appropriate for primary school students and which could serve as a checklist to guide them as they conducted surveys, interviews and observations. The collaboration between Research Curators, the librarian and a number of classroom teachers led to a colorful poster with age-appropriate vocabulary that makes MISO accessible to all learners. 

The MISO poster now hangs in just about every classroom at the primary school and there are abundant copies available in the library for in-school or at-home consultation! Have a look at the poster here! 

MISO Poster 

Implementing MISO at the ISP Secondary School

In parallel the Research Curators worked with middle school students and teachers to create more detailed survey and interview visuals for older students tackling complex research projects. Grade 10 students started the work on these visuals at Research Cafés, where they shared their knowledge, experiences, questions and worries about conducting interviews and surveys. Their excellent contributions became the basis for the visuals. Teachers, who also attended Research Cafés to share their expert advice on surveys and interviews, filled the gaps in student knowledge. The resulting visuals represent true teamwork – have a look here! 

Conducting Surveys Visual
Conducting Interviews Visual

A school leader, and longtime fan of Cathy Berger Kaye, Elise Camy-Palou, was thrilled to see the three MISO-inspired visuals and did not hesitate to put them to use in her classroom. Shortly after attending the January 2020 ChangeNow Summit with her French class, she encouraged her students to launch service learning projects related to environmental conservation. One of the project objectives was to give a persuasive speech, just like the young researchers had done at the summit. Logos is an important component of persuasion and so the students began group research projects to collect facts about their chosen subjects: water pollution and food waste. 

Elise presented MISO to her students as a way to help them organise their inquiry. They decided which of their questions would be best answered by media, an interview, a survey or an observation. They were then required to use all four methods to find answers to their questions about water pollution and food waste; they observed the lunchtime habits of their peers, interviewed their families about waste at home, surveyed students and teachers to discover what they knew about waste at school and consulted the most up-to-date websites to learn more about the effect of these topics on the planet. 

You can decide yourself if using MISO made their speeches more persuasive! Check out these examples (in French):

Amanda's Speech
Caitlin's Speech 

Need More Information on How to Implement MISO? Ask THE Expert!

Cathy Berger Kaye is featured on upcoming episodes of iSPeaks, the ISP podcast. Listening to the podcast episodes is not exactly the same as interviewing her yourself, but you are guaranteed to pick up some great information and tips on using MISO. Cathy also speaks about service learning and distance learning, and how they can most definitely be combined. 

To enhance your MISO experience, Cathy encourages the use of the following resources:

1.     Who do I Trust?: This tool helps students decide if an information source is trustworthy and unbiased. This tool can be used with both primary and secondary school students. 

2.     Survey Success: This tool guides students through the use of different types of survey questions and how to represent the resulting data after the survey has been administered. Use this tool with middle and high school students. 

3.     Interactive Surveys: Use this tool to help students become familiar with interactive surveys, which are sometimes overlooked in the school setting. This tool is best adapted for middle and high school students. 

Need more MISO advice? Don’t hesitate to contact Barry, Steph, Pascale, Josh and Anastasia, the Research Curators, who are ready and willing to answer your research questions: ispcrpd@isparis.edu. You should also visit Cathy's website, www.cbkassociates.com, where you'll find many resources on service learning and research. Cathy also encourages you to contact her with your questions at cathy@cbkassociates.com


Research Cafés are weekly meetings for members of the ISP community. During these meetings participants practice their research skills or share progress on their research projects.

  • MISO
  • Research Café
  • interviews
  • media
  • observation
  • partnership
  • podcast
  • research
  • resources
  • surveys