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Frankfurt, Germany | 4th-9th November 2019






Deepen your understanding of Concept-Based Inquiry and develop a toolbox of strategies to begin implementing right away.

Rachel French and Carla Marschall developed a model of Concept-Based Inquiry to promote transferable understanding. During this six-day workshop, Rachel will utilize the model to unpack how students develop conceptual understanding and what this looks like in the classroom.

Over the course of the week, you will focus on both the written curriculum, drawing on the Unit Design steps developed by Dr. Lynn Erickson and Dr. Lois Lanning, and the taught curriculum delving into a toolbox of strategies developed by Rachel French and Carla Marshall. You will have the opportunity to consider how specific instructional strategies can enhance units you are currently teaching. The end of this intensive retreat will leave you with a bank of strategies that can be implemented in your classroom, and a completed unit planner so you can immediately put your new learning into action.

You will participate in mini-lessons and learning experiences to explore each phase of the model. Video clips of Concept-Based Inquiry filmed in classrooms around the world will be shared to illustrate key strategies.

Rachel will facilitate exploration of questions such as:

  • How do students acquire concepts?
  • How is concept formation different from developing generalizations?
  • How can we design instruction to achieve synergistic thinking between the factual and conceptual levels?
  • What instructional strategies support conceptual thinking?
  • What does Concept-Based Inquiry look like in the classroom?
  • What role does the classroom environment have in fostering a culture of conceptual thinking?

Rachel French is an experienced IB educator and will make connections between Concept-Based Inquiry and the IB Programmes.

Retreat Schedule

The first five-days of this retreat will be divided into four blocks from 8:00AM to 5:30PM.  Between 8:00 AM and 3.30 PM  you will engage in learning experiences to deepen your understanding of Concept-Based Inquiry and engage with strategies and tools to support conceptual thinking in the classroom.

Monday- Friday 3:30-5:30 Rachel offers an optional unit design session.  This is an opportunity for you to consolidate your learning and apply it to your own classroom unit.  Rachel will be there to answer questions, provide suggestions and offer feedback as needed. You are free to leave this session when you feel you are done for the day. If you prefer to take a break at this time and work independently later in the evening or early-morning then you are most welcome to do so.

On Saturday the final day of the retreat we will spends the morning session on assessment and then you will have about three hours to complete your unit design and provide feedback to a colleague. We will conclude with action planning and establish accountability partners. The final day concludes at 3pm.


Learning Focus

Day 1 - What is Concept-Based Inquiry?

Day 2 - Articulating Conceptual Understandings and Guiding Questions - The foundation for Unit Design.

Day 3 - Engaging learnings and Focusing on Concept Formation

Day 4- Investigate, Organize and Generalize

Day 5 - Transfer, Reflect and a model lesson

Day 6 - Assessment, Unit Design and Action Planning



Rachel French, MA Ed, is a certified Independent Concept-Based consultant, presenter and trainer with Dr Lynn Erickson and Dr Lois Lanning.  She is the Director of Professional Learning International (PLI) founded to support international schools to access leading professional development.  Rachel is also the sole provider of the annual “Dr H Lynn Erickson and Dr Lois A. Lanning Certification Institute for Concept-based Curriculum and Instruction Trainers and Presenters.”

Rachel French, Dr Lynn Erickson and Dr Lois Lanning co-authored the second edition of “Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction for the Thinking Classroom”, published by Corwin, February 2017. Rachel's second book and video series is “Concept-Based Inquiry in Action”, published by SAGE Publications Inc, July 2018, which she co-authored with her colleague Carla Marschall.

Rachel has presented numerous workshops in Europe and Asia, and she has presented on Concept-Based Learning at the AEM International Baccalaureate Conferences and the AGIS conference (Association of German International Schools).  Rachel works as a consultant supporting schools to plan and implement Concept-Based Units.  She also coaches and provides feedback to teams of teachers on curriculum development.  Rachel is experienced in aligning Concept-Based Curriculum material and the IB programmes.



This Retreat is held at the Dorint Hotel, Oberursel

Königsteiner Straße 29
61440 Oberursel

You can book your accomodation here. 

Additional Hotels in this area are:

The Rilano Hotel

Residenz-Oberurseler Hof


The nearest airport is Frankfurt Airport

Important Note:  Please do not book flights to Frankfurt Hahn Airport this is 1 hour 30min- 2 hour from Oberursel.

From the airport you can take a taxi or take the train to Frankfurt BHF and then take the S5 train to Oberursel BHF. There are usually taxi's waiting at the Oberursel BHF. Train timetables for Frankfurt and additional information about train tickets can be found here.




This is an open workshop there are no qualification or entry requirements. We welcome all teacher, teaching assistants and school leaders.

This workshop is confirmed you can go ahead and book your travel once you have completed registration.

We do not refund fees. However, you may send a different participant from your school in your place if necessary. If this occurs, please email workshop organizers to inform them (

Professional Learning International reserves the right to cancel the workshop in the event of any unforeseen circumstances. Professional Learning International will not be responsible for any expenses relating to your travel if the workshop is rescheduled or canceled, please be sure to take out travel insurance. In the event of rescheduling or cancellation, Professional Learning International will issue a refund of the workshop fee.



6-day workshop – 950 Euro per participant

Group Discount – 50 Euro per person for groups of five or more participants from the same school or organization

Early Bird Rate on sale until 1st of July 2019 – 50 Euro discount per participant

Registration closes 25th of October 2019

Late Registration Processing Fee applies from 25th of October 2019 - 50 Euro per participant

You may register online and make a payment by credit card or request an invoice online.

The workshop fee includes lunch and a coffee break each day.

Upon course completion you will receive a certificate of participation with the total number of professional development hours.