Our annual summer institute, begun in 2014, is a week of intense – and fun – professional learning with outstanding educators. Registration each year opens in early January.

How do we create powerful, long-lasting learning experiences for our students?

How do we explore complex topics in ways that engage all learners?

And how do we raise up student voices and foster civic agency?

These questions and more shine front and center at the annual Washington International School Summer Institute for Teachers (WISSIT).

This intense–and fun!–week of professional learning introduces educators to effective strategies for cultivating deep thinking and understanding at all grade levels and across subject areas.

WISSIT is open to participants in the Washington, DC, region and beyond. While we will reserve a majority of spaces for local educators, we welcome those from around the country and world. For anyone attending from outside the DC region, you are responsible for arranging your own travel and accommodation. (We will provide some guidance on the registration page.)

SAVE THE DATE: WISSIT ’24 to take place Monday-Friday, August 5-9! 

Find more information and register here.

What You Will Learn

At WISSIT, educators explore the research coming out of Project Zero (PZ)–an innovative leader in the domains of teaching and learning for over 50 years, located in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. Each year, we learn with and from PZ researchers and a diverse faculty of outstanding educators from the Washington, DC, region.

WISSIT introduces PZ ideas and pedagogical tools and strategies and encourages ways to adapt them to participants’ own context.

The institute explores four key themes: 

(1) Building a Culture of Thinking: How do we develop dispositions that lead to thoughtful learning across school subjects, and beyond? How do we effectively create a culture of thinking, in classrooms and schools, that supports all learners?

(2) 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 that exist in our community?

(3) Encouraging Playful Learning, Creativity & a “Maker” Mindset: In response to the challenging times we are living in, how can play, creativity and making re-ignite joy in learning? How do they help us to be attuned to nuance?

(4) Fostering Civic Agency in Young People: How do we guide students to develop the capacity and desire to act in positive ways to improve the world around them? How do we lift up young people’s voices and ideas?

The WISSIT/DCPZ Community

This institute brings together educators from a variety of schools—traditional public, public charter, independent, religious—as well as other educational organizations, such as community-based early learning centers and museums. We invite 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 (DCPZ) professional development network.


Registration for WISSIT opens in January. Each year, WISSIT has a waiting list. We encourage you to register as soon as possible. Bear in mind that registration does not guarantee a spot in the institute. Registrants hear back within approximately two weeks of registering about their status. Once a spot is approved, you have 30 days to pay the registration fee, by either check or credit card.


Educators in Title I (or equivalent) schools, or those in an accredited teacher licensure program, can apply to receive 50% off the regular registration fee.

The Mara E. Wilson Scholarship, which covers the full registration fee, will be awarded to a local visual arts teacher. Teachers in Title I or equivalent settings will be given priority.

The Center for the Advancement and Study of International Education (CASIE) handles registration, payments, course schedules, and logistics for WISSIT.