2022 AMISA Annual Educators' Conference

The Graded Gazette

The science of learning is a rapidly emerging cross-disciplinary body of knowledge that is transforming educational practice. Understanding how our students learn and helping students become more effective and efficient learners is critical to Graded's mission. 

Last week, Graded hosted the three-day AMISA Educators' Conference, "Science of Learning: Educating Hearts and Minds." More than 400 educators from 32 international schools across 12 nations came together on the Graded campus to explore the intersection between cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology, and social-emotional wellbeing. 

Founded in 1961, AMISA (American International Schools in the Americas) is guided by the mission to enhance the quality of education at its 63 member schools.  

Shannon Beckley, Graded's director of teaching and learning and conference co-organizer, says, "AMISA provides a premier professional learning experience to educators throughout the Americas. The opportunity to host this international conference allowed all Graded faculty members to attend as participants or share their knowledge as presenters. Ultimately, every Graded student benefits."

Attendees took part in 115 learning workshops over the three-day event conducted by consultants and fellow educators, during which they discussed theoretical and practical aspects of the science of learning. Among the conference consultants were: Ariel Raz, head of learning collaboration at Stanford d.school; Javier Arguello, founder and executive director of COGx; Julie Stern, founder and president of Learning That Transfers; and Marla Hunter, Johns Hopkins University professor and founder of Live, Love, Teach, LLC. 

Educators also had the opportunity to participate in three deeper learning mini-series geared for those ready to engage in comprehensive experiences. 

Dr. Doug Fischer, an author, professor, and consultant, led the mini-series, "How Learning Works: Translating the Science of Learning into Strategies for Maximum Learning Impact in the Classroom." Participants discussed how metacognition and the implementation of different learning approaches can improve student performance.

Conference-goers stepped into their students' shoes during the second mini-series session led by Kayla Duncan, co-author of Learning That Transfers, to experience the power of the Learning Transfer Mental Model (ACT Model). Ms. Duncan provided them with new curricular design tools to help build authentic, engaging, and intellectually rigorous lessons.

Diversity and inclusion strategist Dr. Derrick Gay conducted the third mini-series, "Intercultural Competency: Reframing Diversity to Drive Inclusion in Schools." Educators explored effective ways to foster inclusion and belonging in schools and learned strategies for navigating challenging topics.