You and your team are invited to join eight Christian associations at the 2019 Global Christian School Leadership Summit (GCSLS) in San Antonio, Texas, on January 30 through February 1, 2019. The theme for GCSLS 2019 will be Innovate, as participants work together to develop adaptive solutions to the current challenges and opportunities facing Christian education.
What is Innovation? When you think of the word “innovation,” what images or ideas come to mind? This is not a rhetorical question! Invoking the word “innovation” in education is a bit like challenging someone to a Rorschach test.
How do Christian schools flourish? What elements of school culture contribute to flourishing, and do some elements matter more than others? Does flourishing look different across different schools—rather than a one-size-fits-all definition? Is there a roadmap to school flourishing that is backed by empirical research in Christian schools?
At Delmarva Christian Schools (DCS) in Delaware, we recently set what seemed to be an impossible goal for our PK–8 campus, which is located roughly thirty minutes from our high school campus. The goal: “We want consistent, intentional, professionally led, team-oriented, growth-focused, longitudinal, and measurable professional development for our teachers—and we want it each week—every week—for an hour—in the morning—with 100 percent of teaching staff present every time.”
Some time ago I was asked to recollect a professional learning experience that had directly impacted or changed my teaching practice. Over my twenty-five years in teaching, I have participated in hundreds, probably thousands, of hours of professional learning activities. I had no trouble recalling many excellent workshops, conferences, and in-house activities that I have participated in—but the struggle was to think of one that I could say had unequivocally had a direct impact on my practice. This reflection led me on a journey to think about the deficiencies of “traditional” approaches to professional learning and to discover what research and literature had to say regarding best practice.
Most of us don’t have the opportunity that Karin Chenoweth has had over her career and particularly the past decade – to visit many schools...