A #physed professional development opportunity like no other

ingevoerd op 13-02-2019

Authors: Sherri Spelic and Lieke Burghout-Lemmers


A #physed professional development opportunity like no other

Subject area conferences for teachers are popular vehicles for educators to boost their professional knowledge and collegial connections. Stimulating speakers, thoughtful workshops as well as engaging social opportunities for attendees to mix and mingle contribute to a positive atmosphere for adult learning. The ECIS Physical Education Conference offers these benefits and so much more. This special area conference which annually draws up to 150 participants has established itself over the course of 30 years as the premier professional development opportunity for Physical Educators in international schools around the world.

What makes the ECIS PE conferences so special? Numerous returning delegates would report that the Teachers Teaching Teachers format that runs throughout the planning and delivery of workshops wins, hands down. Rather than sit and get, delegates in just about every session are encouraged to get up and spar, go out and play, lace up and run or to come over and try. By taking on the roles of students, participants develop a more immediate connection to the material being shared and engage in rich conversations that lead both presenters and participants to fresh insights. In areas as varied as gymnastics for early childhood to goalie drills in soccer to rock and roll dance for middle school students, delegates can explore the familiar and the adventurous in an atmosphere that is consistently welcoming and inclusive.


In the last five years the conference has been held in Dusseldorf, Vienna, London, Munich, and Zug, always hosted by an international school’s team of PE teachers. Recent themes such as “Change of Perspective” and “Move, Live, Learn” reflect shifts in the field towards more holistic approaches to teaching which address mind, body and spirit and a heightened emphasis on physical literacy that sparks curiosity, critical decision-making and personal enjoyment. Keynote speakers such as Dr. Amanda Stanec or Margaret Whitehead, challenge participants to consider their own path of physical literacy in order to better accompany students along their physical learning journeys while dance motivator Melanie Levenberg turn the tables and get participants onto the main stage for a large group dance. From Early Childhood to Diploma Sport Exercise Health Science all levels and forms of curricula  are fully exploited. After a short week of intense learning and playing the participants go back to their schools energised and filled with new ideas and strategies to enhance their teaching. The connections made during this conference are lifelong bonds. As the year progresses teachers who feel part of the ECIS family continue reaching out to each other through the use of social media or the ECISconnect platform. The use of these different platforms fully support the growth of teachers as learners. The conference is not just an event, it is a way to sustain and promote excellent teaching.


Our next conference is scheduled to take place April 15-18, 2019 at the European International School of Barcelona. Through our  theme “move towards an active world” we would like to focus on what Physical Education can do for our students and the wider school community. Our keynote speakers Paul Zientarski and Mike Kuczala will discuss the positive connection between the brain and the body and how physical activity can support the learning outcomes in the classrooms. Joy Marchese will share with us the importance of connection emphasizing all the ways that a sense of belonging and connection is the fundamental starting point of all interaction and learning.

Come grow and move with us in Barcelona. We’ll be ready!



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