Over the course of this intense week of professional learning, WISSIT participants engage with research coming out of Harvard Project Zero (PZ)–an innovative leader in the domains of teaching and learning for over 50 years–and learn with and from PZ researchers and a diverse group of outstanding local educators.
The focus of WISSIT is to engage with PZ ideas and pedagogical tools and strategies and to examine ways to adapt them to participants’ own context.
The institute explores three key themes:
(1) Building a Culture of Thinking: How do we help learners develop dispositions that support thoughtful learning across school subjects? How do we effectively create a culture of thinking, in classrooms and school-wide?
(2) Encouraging Creativity and “Maker Thinking” in Children: What can we learn from the practices of educators in the arts and in the maker movement? How might we encourage creativity, play and DIY habits of mind that are relevant to all disciplines?
(3) Learning Deeply with Museum Resources: What can we–educators and students–learn from objects, artworks and archival materials to deepen our understanding of, and engagement with, the curriculum? How can we leverage the unique museum resources we have here in Washington, DC?
WISSIT brings together DC-area educators from a variety of schools—traditional public, public charter, independent, parochial—as well as other educational organizations, such as community-based early learning centers and museums. The institute invites participants to reflect deeply on ways to design and facilitate enriching learning opportunities for their students.
Support for WISSIT participants continues throughout the following school year through the DC-Project Zero professional development network.
Virtual WISSIT 2020, held from Aug. 3-7, marked the seventh year of the institute and the first year that it was held all online! Around 200 educators (including 49 local educators and 2 Project Zero researchers) gathered over Zoom for a week of inspiring talks, hands-on courses, energizing “Art Happenings,” and community learning. We couldn’t be prouder of our superb faculty who handled the transition to virtual spaces with aplomb!
This year’s featured speakers were Project Zero researchers Ron Ritchhart and Sarah Sheya; Smithsonian Institution Acting Under Secretary for Education, Ruki Neuhold-Ravikumar; and DMV educators, Sher Anderson Petty and Ellen Rogers.