Our Story

For over a decade, Washington International School has been recognized for fostering groundbreaking collaborations across the region and for being a school that excels at implementing Project Zero ideas and practices. As a logical extension of these efforts, WIS launched the Professional Development Collaborative at its annual summer institute, WISSIT, in August 2016.

The landscape changed, of course, when the pandemic hit in spring 2020. As schools closed and shifted teaching to online platforms, the PDC swiftly moved to offering its professional learning events virtually. With that move, we have significantly broadened our reach beyond the DC region, attracting educators from around the U.S. and the world. Now, we are able to offer both in-person and virtual options for many of our events.

The PD Collaborative recognizes that, while education begins with learning valuable skills and knowledge, in today’s world schools have a responsibility to do much, much more. Educators must strive to build students’ character and to teach for understanding—of meaningful content, of connections across subject areas and to the world outside the classroom, and of complex global issues. Putting skills and knowledge to use in attempting to solve significant problems is the hallmark of a learner who demonstrates global competence.

And now, significantly, in a world that has been turned upside down by the pandemic and is polarized politically, we as educators must help students develop both resilience, an ability to think critically and creatively, and the inclination to consider different perspectives on various issues. Our work with Project Zero researchers and other renowned education organizations, and our talent for building networks of educators, has positioned us well as leaders in the field of teacher development as we navigate an uncertain future.