ISTA present...

How to teach research with Jane Fisher

July 13, 2021

Multi Region Event: Europe and Asia / Americas and Europe

Booking Closed

Please note that this event is available to book in two regions. For more detailed time zone information, please see the ‘Important information’ section below.

About the workshop

How to teach research

Workshop description
In this workshop we will explore practical ways to teach students how to conduct effective research – both academic and practical.

Learning outcomes
Teachers will:
Deconstruct the research process and examine our role in explicitly teaching research within our discipline.
Explore ways of approaching academic research that will help students become more independent and discerning in their own learning.
Explore alternative ways to approach the research elements of all IB DP Theatre tasks and the EE.
Experiment with games and activities that can demystify the research process for students.

How will the workshop benefit the teacher in their curriculum delivery?
Independent research is a crucial part of all IB DP Theatre assessment tasks and students need to be able to conduct this effectively. Research within the Theatre discipline requires specialist understanding due to the requirement to conduct practical and academic research into specialised topics. Students will significantly improve their performance on the course if they are explicitly taught methods for researching theatre history, theory and practice by their Theatre teachers.

Target audience
DP Theatre teachers.

About your workshop leader

I am a teacher, a school leader and a theatre-maker. Educated in South Africa, with an MA from the UK, I taught predominantly English Literature and shifted into school leadership (mostly as IB DP Coordinator) for a few years before I decided that seeing children in my office because they had done something wrong rather than because they wanted to do something creative was not the trajectory I wanted for myself. I became Head of Performing Arts at the British School Jakarta for a number of years and decided to take a year out during this pandemic when I started The Understudy with my ex-colleague to share our wonderful resources with teachers around the world.

I believe that young people are capable of making extraordinary theatre with the right guidance and inspiration. As a director, I select and create plays that are intellectually and theatrically challenging to open my students’ minds to work they might not experience otherwise. As a teacher, I am driven by the challenge of teaching students how to think not what to think. I love the descriptor of the IB Theatre teacher as an ‘engineer of experiences’ and a ‘mentor on the students’ artistic journey’ and have spent many hours redesigning how I implement the course to create the most exciting and challenging experiences for my Theatre students whilst allowing them the freedom to explore their interests within the framework of what is being assessed.

I have taught IB DP Theatre, TOK, English Literature and co-ordinated the EE across the school so have a wide range of experiences in research across the DP subjects. I have designed and implemented a range of in-house PD on how to teach research and significantly improved whole school EE results as a result of explicitly teaching research skills. So often teachers think that someone else is teaching these skills but it is my belief that we should all be teaching them and we should be aligned with each other whilst acknowledging and being aware of differences across disciplines.

Important information

Event coordinator
Keriann O’Rourke

Europe and Asia
8:00-10:00am – BST (British Summer Time)
9:00-11:00am – CEST (Central European Standard Time)
3:00-5:00pm – SST (Singapore Standard Time)

Americas and Europe
7:00-9:00am – PDT (Pacific Daylight Time)
10:00-12:00pm – EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)
3:00-5:00pm – BST (British Summer Time)
4:00-6:00pm – CEST (Central European Standard Time)


The cost of this workshop is GBP £35 per person for ISTA members and GBP £40 per person for non members.

What to bring

Any materials shared with you prior to the workshop, such as the workbook. A notebook and pencil are always useful.

Space requirements
If possible, please try to have a small amount of space near to you for any practical work.

Download & Forms

Please find below the relevant documentation for you to download:


Europe and Asia

Starts on Tuesday 13 July at 08:00
Finishes on Tuesday 13 July at 10:00
(BST - British Summer Time)

Americas and Europe

Starts on Tuesday 13 July at 07:00
Finishes on Tuesday 13 July at 09:00
(PDT - Pacific Daylight Time)


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• Gretchen Nordleaf-Nelson
• Himanshu Mam
• Indira Cureton-Cummings
• Jodie Dodington
• Jon Cohen
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• Lou Houghton
• Louise Ballantyne
• Marie-Hélène Pichette
• Rachel Fenton
• Rachel Shapiro Cooper
• Ruth Farrimond Raborn
• Sally Stenning