About Today’s Show

Today’s podcast features Tia Gaines, director for Educational Strategies for UnifiEd, A Center for Hope and Unity. Tia talks with Lynn Swaner about the Flourishing Schools construct of Insular Culture, where “the school shields students from the world’s brokenness, the school is independent from the surrounding community, and/or the student body lacks diversity.” The conversation focuses on creating communities of belonging for students within Christian schools.




To go further in learning about this construct, check out these resources:


To learn more about Flourishing Schools Research, check out the Flourishing Together book by Lynn Swaner and Andy Wolfe (Eerdmans 2021) and this video overview of the research. You can also find out about the related institute for leaders and instrument for schools here.

About the Guest

Tia Ganes

Tia Gaines is the director for Educational Strategies for UnifiEd. She serves as department chair for the English department, as well as the 6–12 instructional coach, for Insight PA Cyber Charter School. She coaches more than 200 teachers on teaching strategies in a virtual setting. She has also taught in the School for Applied and Innovative Learning program at Delaware County Christian School in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. In addition, Tia provides consulting to schools, universities, and organizations on diversity, equity, and inclusion alongside her husband, Joel. She resides in Philadelphia with her husband and their four children.



About the Host

ACSI - Lynn Swaner ACSI blog contributorDr. Lynn E. Swaner is the Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at ACSI, where she leads initiatives and develops strategies to address compelling questions and challenges facing Christian education. Dr. Swaner serves as a Cardus Senior Fellow and is the co-author or editor of multiple books on Christian education, including Flourishing Together: A Christian Vision for Students, Educators, and Schools and MindShift: Catalyzing Change in Christian Education. Prior to joining ACSI, she served as a professor of education and a Christian school administrator in New York.

Questions to Consider:

Where can your school improve as you work to create a community of belonging for all students?


Where has your school experiences success in creating a community of belonging for all students?

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