Look over the Fence: Call for your views!


The FIS has subscribed to promote “Cultures of Thinking”, started and developed by Harvard University’s “Project Zero“. It is defined as “places where a group’s collective as well as individual thinking is valued, visibly, and actively promoted as part of the regular, day-to-day experience of all group members”.

The FIS is developing this agenda on various levels, be it through increasing thinking routines in the classroom, actively promoting more meaningful meetings or developing the professional profile of teachers. These are just some of the “Cultures of Thinking” projects we have started in the course of this year.

We would like to ask your view on another project we are considering to join and which would fit very well with our various “Cultures of Thinking” initiatives: “Look over the Fence” (“Blick über den Zaun“). It is a network of approximately 150 reform orientated schools, whose aim it is to put the individual learning and thinking of students in the center.

Members of the network support each other with their various initiatives by visiting schools and providing feedback. Over the decades, they have accumulated a wealth of insights. This culminates in a set of standards describing a “good school”. As one principle of the network requires that all stakeholders should be involved when taking important decisions, we would like to ask your view (as we are also requesting feedback from colleagues and students).

We prepared some more in-depth feedback on “Look over the Fence”, followed by a brief survey. In this survey, we have summarized some of the key principles of “Look over the Fence”. We would like to know from you if you think that these principles would be worth pursuing for the FIS. At the same time, we would like to know to which extent you think these principles are already part of our daily FIS practice.

You may access the survey through this link. It will open with the publication of this post and remains available until Friday, January 19, at 16:00. Results will be collated and shared with you electronically. In addition, we will offer a commented presentation at the FIS on Tuesday, January 23, at 17:45 (before the MYP info evening). This should provide an opportunity to further discuss this initiative.

If you are interested to browse through the entire principles document, published by “Look over the Fence”, you may find them in English and German below.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns or simply would like to share your views by email at .

Thank you very much for taking an interest in this project to further develop the FIS!

Christian Hoffmann
Instructional Coach “Cultures of Thinking”

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