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Carol Koran     

Director of Learning, Nishimashi International School, Tokyo

Accordion Workshop - Instructional Strategies to Engage the Brain

Session Description:

This two-hour workshop links brain research with specific teaching strategies, providing teachers with opportunities to reflect on their current practice, to assess their current methods of delivering instruction or guiding learning, and to practice, through hands-on learning, strategies to increase student engagement. During the workshop, teachers are challenged to seek not only the how, but the why of teaching and learning strategies. Throughout the workshop, the focus comes back to, “If neuro-science tells us that the brain works this way, then how will that inform our teaching practice?”


Presenter Bio:

Carol Koran is the Director of Learning at Nishimachi International School in Tokyo. Carol’s experiences in education include being a Professional Development Instructor for the Alberta Teachers’ Association in Canada, teaching and mentoring interns and student teachers in the Education faculty at the University of Lethbridge, and 35 years in teaching and administration at the middle school and high school level.

During her time as Principal of Catholic Central High School in Lethbridge, Canada, Carol implemented a number of initiatives, including the creation of a Wellness Coordinator position, the establishment of a second high school campus focused on Science and Inquiry, and leading change as a pilot school for the Alberta High School Re-Design Project. Carol believes that fostering a culture of collective efficacy amongst staff can significantly impact student learning - a belief that she supports through intensive, targeted professional development focused on research-based instructional strategies. She has written and facilitated workshops for teachers and parents throughout Western Canada on Assessment, Student Engagement, Brain-based Learning, Communication and Conflict Resolution, and Visual Literacy. The value of understanding and applying what we know about the brain to classroom practice is one of her favorite topics, and working directly with schools and teachers is her favorite way to share expertise and to be part of the collaborative journey of fostering excellence in student learning.



Renee Rehfeldt     

Director of Learning, Canadian Academy, Kobe, Japan

Accordion Workshop - Customized Learning Communities - One Size does NOT fit all

Session Description:

We know collaboration is key to moving a school forward. Increasingly, it is at the heart of our work as leaders – nurturing authentic collaboration with meaningful outcomes. There are varied models and opinions on how to organize learning communities. How does a school decide which model is best? Many schools will find that an integrated approach, drawing aspects from each to suit their culture and needs is key. Join us as we unpack professional learning community models and data protocols to understand the components of each and how they can work together in support of student learning and wellbeing.


Session Goals:

Participants will examine an overview of the variety of professional learning community models, including data driven dialogue, collaborative protocol to guide conversations, and the DuFour 4 guiding questions. I will not advocate for any single model but rather provide overview of the essential elements of each. We will then discuss how and when each could be useful in a school context and how they might weave together to achieve strategic goals and transform learning and wellbeing. No school’s model must mirror another; each should reflect the culture and needs of the school, and be adaptable when the need arises.


Presenter Biography:

Renee Rehfeldt is currently the Director of Learning at Canadian Academy, Kobe, Japan, having worked previously at Suzhou Singapore International School in Suzhou, China. She leads workshops around the Asia-Pacific region in the areas of teaching and learning, language development, and professional development and learning. She has worked in the area of professional development and learning for more than 5 years, working closely with IB networks in the Shanghai and East Asia regions. Renee is passionate about supporting and promoting collaboration within and between schools in support of learning for all our students.



Ralph Emmerink     

Xiamen International School

Accordion Workshop - Formative Assessment Strategies in a Digital Classroom

Session Description:

Without a doubt, the biggest change in education in the last decennium is the massive implementation of technology. Recent studies, however, show that the use of technology does not necessarily make our students perform better in the classroom. What does help students in the long-run is the constant use of formative assessments, including feedback, as an informative tool. Formative assessment is thus assessment for learning, as it helps students to identify the way forward. In this workshop, we will discuss the theory behind formative assessment for learning as well as some cool online applications that make formative assessments more interesting, engaging and meaningful for the students, while aiding the teacher in obtaining valuable data to plan for future lessons.

Note: Attendees need to bring BYOB (laptop or tablet)


Presenter Bio:

Born and raised in the Netherlands, where he received his BEd in History and a MA in Globalisation and Development Studies, Ralph works at Xiamen International School, Xiamen, P.R.C. Presently, he is teaching MYP Individuals and Societies and Design Technology. He is a Google Certified Trainer and has presented workshops on technology integration in Monterrey, Mexico, the United States and in China. Technology integration in the classroom is one of his passions and thus he is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to assure that students are able to demonstrate their learning, knowledge and understanding in an engaging, creative and collaborative manner, preparing them for the future.



Luxia Yan

Peking University Experimental School Jiaxing Curriculum Director

Accordion Workshop - How to nurture big ideas and deep understanding in Chinese literature teaching? - The interpretation of the new Guide changing 2019

Session Description:

This speech will discuss how to nurture big ideas and deep understanding of Chinese literature teaching through the interpretation of the New Literature Outline in 2019. The 2-hour speech will be divided into three parts:

  • Preparation for text selection
  • Preparation for extracurricular examinations
  • Preparing for in-school exams

Workshop Outcome:

This workshop enables teachers to understand the details and preparation work after the changes in the new syllabus as well as the underlying reasons behind these changes, thus helping the teachers with their specific teaching and preparing to nurture big ideas and deep understanding in Chinese literature teaching.

Presenter Bio:

Dr. Luxia Yan has taught in a variety of international schools for more than 19 years. She has taught DP Chinese A, B and Ab Initio, as well as MYP Chinese A & B, AP, SAT, IGCSE and HSK. Luxia received B.A, M.A, and Ph.D. degrees in Chinese Language and Literature and a Graduate Diploma of Education. In addition, she has been working closely with the International Baccalaureate Asia Pacific office where she has the roles of IB Workshop leader, Examiner, Course outline Reader, Consultant and School Visit Team Leader. Over the past 7 years she has advised and visited many schools in China, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. Luxia has contributed to a number of IBDP Language Ab Initio-specific resources, including the very popular “Language Ab Initio Student Workbook” and the “My Language Ab Initio Portfolio” for Mandarin. In addition, she is the author of the “How to ace the Mandarin Ab Initio Exam” book series.



Ahmed Hussain

Senior Director of Academics, Wellington College China

Accordion Workshop - Research Methods

Session Description:

The aim of this session is to empower educators to make evidence-informed decisions on their practice and not rely directly on policy, fad or unsupported assertions. The module also provides participants with the tools to evaluate the impact of interventions and strategies implemented at a class, department or whole school level. The desired outcomes for the module are:

  1. Establish the importance of evidence-based practice;
  2. Introduce the principles of research methodology
  3. Apply the principles to a given case study
  4. Plan to implement a research project                                  

The programme will be delivered through three sessions that initially introduce the importance of evidence-informed teaching and then support participants in the planning, implementation and evaluation of a research project. Professional learning is supported through the use of practical examples, case studies and access to a range of easy to use resources. Access to a professional learning community to offer shared learning and experience will further drive professional learning and impact.

The outcome will be transformational in terms of how participants view their role as educators and how they drive forward learning and teaching in the context of their school. The product from each research project will be presented as a final report that will be considered for publication in the Journal of International and bilingual education that is reviewed by Durham University.

Workshop Outcome:

  1. Establish the importance of evidence-based practice
  2. Introduce the principles of research methodology
  3. Apply the principles to a given case study
  4. Plan to implement a research project

Presenter Bio:

Dr Ahmed Hussain is currently the Senior Director of Academics for Wellington College China. This position involves leading the Institute of Learning in addition to working across the Wellington College China group on all academic-related issues and providing outreach support beyond the Wellington group. Before the appointment, Ahmed served as the Director of Schools at Wellington College China for three years. Following an initial career as a research scientist with the University of Nottingham, Ahmed trained as a teacher of science. Following a number of teaching and leadership positions, Ahmed was appointed as a Lecturer of Education at Durham University. Here he led on training and developing teachers, teaching on Masters and EdD courses as well as undertaking research in the fields of curriculum analysis, assessment and teacher professional development. Ahmed took up a number of senior leadership positions in schools in the UK and Dubai along with working in the education reform project in Abu Dhabi. Here he led projects on the senior leader and teacher professional development along with supporting the development and rollout of national standards for school leaders and teachers in the UAE. Ahmed is a passionate educator who was drawn to the Wellington College China group because of the educational values, ethos and commitment to truly holistic education. He is married with two young boys, and as a family, they are truly embracing the rich heritage and culture of Shanghai and China.



Kasson Bratton

Deputy Director-Learning, Nanjing International School 

Accordion Workshop - Teacher Agency in On-Site Professional Learning

Session Description:

Student agency, often described as "Student Voice and Choice," is quickly becoming an educational imperative in schools around the world, but what about "Teacher Voice and Choice" in our own professional learning? This workshop will share lessons and ideas gleaned from our attempts to re-frame our in-house professional development at Nanjing International School to place the (adult) learner at the centre of this critical leverage point in improving student learning.

Workshop Outcome:

Participants will walk away with learnings from the successes and failures of one school's attempts at promoting teacher-agency in professional learning, as well as a blueprint of how their next in-house PD session might be re-framed in this regard.

Presenter Bio:

Kasson is in his in his 15th year of international education, currently serving as Deputy Director-Learning at Nanjing International School after successful stints in the United States, Haiti, Scotland, and Qatar. Passionate about building organizations that best support the people within them, Kasson appreciates the power of relationships, the complexity of systems, and, often, the serendipity of dumb luck. When he is not roaming the halls of NIS, Kasson enjoys listening to hip-hop, going for a jog, and globe-trotting with his wife Olivia and 7-year-old son, Harris. 



KC Lee


Accordion Workshop - Don't Stress About Stress: How to transform stress into fuel

Session Description: 

  • Why do some people get stressed and others don't?
  • What are some early signs of stress?
  • What can you do when you are stressed?
  • What to do when you see OTHERS are stressed?
  • How can you make stress work for you and turn it into motivation instead?

Workshop Outcome:

Recognise the early signs of stress. Understand that everyone responds to stress differently. Learning how to turn stress factors into motivators.

Presenter Bio:

Dr. KC Lee is both a UK chartered psychologist and a qualified executive coach trained with the International Coaching Federation (ICF). He completed his doctoral studies in Counselling Psychology in London and holds a Masters in Social Science in Professional Counselling (Singapore) and a Masters in Psychology (London). Dr. Lee has 10 years’ clinical experience, having worked for the NHS (UK), Singapore Airlines, Parkway Health (China), and operated his own private psychology clinic in Singapore. He is experienced in helping personnel working in challenging corporate environments, high-level executives, business owners, and entrepreneurs across various regions and industries. Clinically, Dr. Lee specialises in Contextual Behavioural Science and trans-diagnostic Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approaches. He has practised clinically in Singapore, London and Shanghai in wide-ranging settings. His areas of speciality include treating depression and anxiety disorders, marriage and relationship counselling, stress, addiction, gender identity and other mental health conditions. He is also qualified in the use of psychometric assessments for both ability and personality. 



Paul Wang

Director of Mental Health Departments, Lanhai Medical Center

Accordion Workshop - How to be the emotion coach for your students

Session Description:

Learn effective ways of communicating with students and being their emotion coach. Cross-cultural perspectives will be addressed.

Workshop Outcome:

Effective communication skills and learned to be the emotion coach for students

Presenter Bio:

Dr. Paul Wang is from the United States. He received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology with Honors from the University of Toronto in Canada, then went onto complete his Masters and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Wang has experience providing individual, family, couples, and group therapy for adults, adolescents, and children. He has extensive training in cross-cultural issues and provides culturally-relevant evidence-based treatments. Dr. Wang has lived in China for 8 years and worked for 7 years at the Shanghai United Family Hospital (SUFH). He founded the Psychology Department at SUFH and served as its Department Chair. He has been a frequent guest on television (e.g., ICS) in Shanghai addressing multiple psychological issues. Dr. Wang specializes in treating children, adolescents, and adults on common mental health diagnoses such as Attachment Disorder, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder/Conduct Disorder, Disruptive Behavior Disorder NOS, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Adjustment Disorder, Anxiety and Depression, and Substance Abuse/Dependence related Dual Diagnoses. He is also an expert in treating couples and has extensive experiences in helping couples with cross-cultural marriages. In addition, he has also trained in Health Psychology allowing him to address the psychological components of most health issues, including sexual dysfunction, cardiovascular illnesses, COPD, and so forth. Dr. Wang also has experience addressing stress associated with pre-operation and post-operation procedures and provides counselling to women and men with postpartum depression. He is also qualified to conduct psychological evaluations and neuropsychological assessments. Dr. Wang received APA accredited internship training, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in California and Hawaii, and is a member of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Wang has served on the Board of Directors within the Asian American Psychological Association and was the Chair of the Taiwan Psychology Network. He is currently the President of the Shanghai International Mental Health Association. He was awarded the AAPA Outstanding Leader Award and was chosen as one of the AAPA leadership fellows. 



Ashley Wu

Middle School Mandarin Curriculum Design Leader, Concordia International School Shanghai

Accordion Workshop - Digital Student Portfolios: Another Method of Assessment

Session Description:

This presentation will introduce participants on how to use student portfolio as a formative assessment. Examples will be demonstrated how student portfolio meets the curriculum design, including the online rubrics to assist the evaluation of its proficiency and performance assessments.


  1. To motivate students to develop a sense of ownership and responsibility for their own learning
  2. To support teachers to collect the evidence and set the goal with reflection
  3. To invite parents and others to get to think more about students as learners


  1. The types of student portfolio
  2. The components to make student portfolio effective
  3. The examples of student portfolio based on the school curriculum
  4. The proficiency/performance assessment with the student portfolio
  5. The implement of rubrics in the student portfolio

Workshop Outcomes:

  1. Participants will learn what is a digital student portfolio and how to use it as a way of assessment.
  2. Participants will learn how to design online rubrics via Canvas.

Presenter Bio:

Ashley has been teaching Chinese in the international school for 14 years. She has taught varied Mandarin courses with native, near-native and non-native Chinese speaking students from Kindergarten through Grade 12. Ashley has been involving in developing CISS (Concordia International School Shanghai) Chinese curricula as well as its assessments. Currently, she has served as Middle School Mandarin Curriculum Design Leader. Meanwhile, Ashley has presented for ACTFL Annual Convention, EARCOS, ACAMIS, Chinese Articulation Conference, Global Language Conference, and other Chinese workshops. She is the member of ACTFL, Chinese Language Association of Secondary Elementary School of United States, Asia-Pacific Chinese Language Teachers Association (presented during its inaugural conference). Ashley has M.Ed. in teaching Chinese language and literature, and Master of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies. 



Lina Farrow

MYP-DP Language Acquisition Teacher of English and Spanish

Accordion Workshop - Technology in the language acquisition classroom

Session Description:

In this session, we will explore a variety of technology tools useful in language acquisition classes. From apps that facilitate ongoing student assessment and help you personalize grammar learning, all the way to tools that will help you give your students a real audience with whom they can use language in authentic ways.

Presenter Bio:

Lina is an MYP-DP Language Acquisition teacher of English and Spanish. She has been teaching in China for the last 12 years, and also been Head of Grade 6 for seven years. She is an edtech enthusiast, always looking for opportunities to use technology that can foster student agency and allow her students to engage more deeply and meaningfully with the curriculum. 



Karla Sy and Michael Bailey (English Session)     

YK Pao School 

Nectar Wang and Daisy Sun (Chinese Session)     

YK Pao School

Accordion Workshop - Mindful Leadership

Session Description:

How do the best leaders manage change, stay resilient, and inspire growth? This workshop was developed at Google and is a unique blend of mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and neuroscience that is supported by data. During the three-hour interactive workshop, you will learn strategies to reduce stress, improve focus, raise performance, and improve interpersonal relationships.



Jill Stansbury

Early Childhood Social and Emotional Learning Specialist, Shanghai American School

Accordion Workshop - Beyond Positive Time Out: Positive Discipline Activities for Self-calming and Self-awareness

Session Description:

The Positive Discipline in the School and Classroom Teacher's Guide provides a series of activities for teaching students self-calming and self-regulation skills that support and extend the initial learning provided by the positive time out space. This workshop gives teachers the opportunity to see the activities presented and also expose them to English language books and materials that can be used to extend these practices.

Workshop Outcomes:

Participants will

  1. learn the basics of mindfulness
  2. develop an awareness of English language children's literature and curriculum that can be used to extend mindfulness practices
  3. practice activities they can use with their students that use body awareness to calm students down

Presenter Bio:

Jill is the Early Childhood Social and Emotional Learning specialist at the Shanghai American School Puxi campus. Her master’s degree in educational leadership is from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. She has been a trainer for the Positive Discipline Association since 2007 and has used Positive Discipline preschool through high school as both a teacher and administrator since 1994. She enjoys helping educators strengthen their relationships with students by sharing strategies that teachers and schools can use to artfully teach students long-term life skills.



Snow Bai

Chinese Teacher, ISA International School of Guangzhou

Accordion Workshop - The localisation of international education - exploration of Lingnan culture

Session Description:

Traditional Chinese culture is extensive and profound and has a long history. As a part of this culture, Lingnan culture has been absorbing and integrating useful elements and has developed its unique character. This semester, ISA Chinese teaching has developed a theme course to explore Lingnan culture with the natural and cultural resources in the Lingnan area. This is not just about inheriting and developing traditional Chinese culture, but also about paying respects and tribute to the wisdom of Lingnan people. Students will form a positive, active, explorative and cooperative learning method through practice. In this way, they will be more innovative and willing to learn through inquiry while also develop their comprehensive ability to apply knowledge. The rich first-hand cultural resources in Lingnan area provide a basis for strengthening this inquiry learning, which is exploring specific culture forms such as Lingnan architecture and diet and thereby analyzing the differences between these forms. For example, in the process of exploring Lingnan cuisine, students did some interview and investigation and found out the differences between Cantonese cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, Hunan cuisine and other cuisines.

Workshop Outcomes:

Participants will learn how to teach with local resources, how to combine IB ideas with Chinese culture, how to assess what students have learned in the form of language and techniques and how to present students’ achievements.

Presenter Bio:

Snow is a Chinese teacher at ISA International School of Guangzhou with 3 years’ experience in teaching at international schools. Currently, she is teaching local primary students Chinese and calligraphy and she’s been trying to combine Chinese traditional culture with IB international courses, and to explore more about conceptual inquiry learning. She hopes that students will not forget the Chinese culture when they go abroad. 



Harry Brown

Principal, Renaissance College Hong Kong

Accordion Workshop - The Survival of the Kindest: Contextual Wellbeing in Schools

Session Description

Contextual Wellbeing in Schools is defined by Dr. Helen Street as: " A state of health, happiness and positive engagement in learning that arises from membership in an equitable, inclusive and cohesive school environment." Participants will see how Dr. Helen Street's model of Contextual Wellbeing in Schools has been applied from "the inside out" at an international, all-through, four programme IB World School of 2100 students in Hong Kong.

Workshop Outcomes:

Participants will be introduced to strategies to embed faculty and student wellbeing as a significant cornerstone of the school culture




Author and Educational Consultant

Accordion Workshop - Workshop - Educating for Intellectual Growth: Deepening the Learning Culture at YK Pao School

Session Description

In this workshop, participants will explore the fourteen dispositions of the Future Smart Model including collaboration, empathy, drive, originality, and self-assurance. They will not only look deeply at what these dispositions are but also how they can be recognized and rewarded at our school. In addition, participants will discuss how the fourteen dispositions can be developed in our students.

The workshop will focus on the following aspects:

  • Educating for intellectual growth
  • Teaching for intellectual growth
  • Recognize, reward, celebrate, motivate
  • A deeper-level approach: Targeting creativity
  • Planning for dissemination and next steps

Presenter Bio:

After reading Economics at Cambridge University, C. J. Simister taught for twenty years across the 5-18 age range before setting up her Future-Smart® consultancy practice. She has spent the last seven years working with schools, universities and parents around the world, sharing a wealth of pragmatic advice and innovative strategies. C. J. Simister’s focus is on helping young people to develop the personal and cognitive dispositions and skills that not only enhance performance and improve engagement with learning now but are also increasingly essential for long-term success. Her Future-Smart® model translates theory and research into clear, effective ideas and offers schools a manageable, experience-based structure for development. The author of three books, including ‘The Bright Stuff’ for parents and most recently the ‘Character, Grit and Resilience Pocketbook’, she was selected by the National Association of Gifted Children as their Inspiring Person of the Year and is a regular speaker at national and international conferences.