July 2020 CACE Newsletter
July 2020 CACE Newsletter

One of our CACE goals for 2020 was connectivity. Especially during this unusual year, we are aware that the quality of our work relies on the wisdom and expertise of others. As we prepare for the 2020-21 school year, with its uncertainties related to COVID and corresponding local and state guidelines, let’s take advantage of the roadmaps and plans at the COVID-19 Resources page of the CACE website.

However, our hope is that your school-year preparation won’t stop with the logistical aspects of reopening school. We should also ask fundamental questions about why and how we do teaching and learning in our schools. Below is encouragement to think about adaptive change within the technical changes you are already making.

  1. Think Digical: In 2015, I gave a series of talks and wrote Innovation and the Digical School, the inspiration for the Digical Education podcast. In the years since I began this blog, I’ve conversed with educators about the physical and digital mash-up that could occur in schools to expand and extend student learning. My greatest hope at this time is not to look to D-10, Owl, Swivel, Zoom, Google Classroom, and other technologies as technical solutions to a short-term problem, but rather how this time might be an opportunity to incubate change in the way we do teaching and learning.

  2. Teaching for Transformation (TfT) Network: CACE recently invited the schools who are implementing Teaching for Transformation into an official network of schools. Knowing that we can go much farther together than we can alone, the 50+ TfT schools in the United States are forming a learning community that includes professional development opportunities, graduate-level courses, and shared resources for faculty. Find out more on the recently released website

  3. Go Deeper: Recently, Dan Beerens and Steven Levy began an eight-part series entitled, The Many Roads to Christian Deeper Learning. In the series introduction, they explain the momentum building in and among Christian schools:

    "Over the years, a number of Christian educators and schools have been implementing what we now call Christian Deeper Learning. These institutions have begun to network more intentionally for collaboration, learning, and mutual encouragement. Coming together from across existing organizations, networks, and denominational boundaries, Christian school educators have united in a desire to educate children in ways that honor them as image bearers, ground them in The Story, and inspire them to live out Christlikeness in serving neighbors and caring for creation."

    During this shutdown, we discovered much about the nature of the learner and the need to serve others and care for Creation. By reading this series, you’ll discover that there is a movement afoot to bring learning alive for all students, in all contexts, and in all sorts of unique ways. I hope that you will continue this conversation in your school.

  4. Unleash the Power of Community: Something I heard time and again as I spoke with educators over the past few months was how much they missed their school communities. But we can still unleash the transformative power of community, as modeled by our friends with the Christian Educators Diversity Alliance. We’ve asked Jenny Brady and her colleagues to write a weekly blog series starting next week to help us think more fully about how to advocate for racial justice, what this advocacy looks like in our various communities, and what kind of hard work it will take to bring about transformative change.
Our call to be Christian educators is exhausting and hard, but we have a network of friends, colleagues, thinkers, and experts to assist. Let us continue on this journey together.
Erik Ellefsen
Senior CACE Fellow
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