One of the purposes of the Christian Deeper Learning network and our conference is the opportunity for Christian educators to come together to learn from each other. Our CDL5 pre-conference days at Converge last year gave great opportunities for people in our CDL network to visit other sites and learn more about EL Education, Big Picture Learning, International Baccalaureate, and Project Based Learning at public schools in the San Diego area. This year we have a special opportunity for you to be able to visit three Christian schools in the Vancouver area doing great CDL work!
Darryl DeBoer, Director of TfT and Director of Learning at Surrey Christian, our conference host school, invited you in our November 11 CDL Digest to learn more about TfT on March 8 at Surrey. Last week, Julius Siebenga, Executive Director at Abbotsford Christian, invited you to come to his school to learn more about Project Based Learning. This week we invite you to spend a day at White Rock Christian with Dave Michel and team to learn more about the International Baccalaureate program at his school, also located in Surrey.
Many of you, particularly in the US, may have limited awareness of what IB is other than the DP program in some public high schools. My own awareness and understanding grew significantly after discussions with folks like Mitch Salerno, former head of school at Monte Vista Christian, attending an IB conference, conversations with Dave Michel and Joel Slofstra at White Rock, and reading Jal Metha and Sarah Fine's excellent bestseller In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School. In their comparison of four models of schooling in high schools, they state their belief that IB best connects the elements of Identity, Mastery, and Creativity. I reflect in this blog post about the tight connection between their desired elements of deeper learning in high schools and what we have articulated in our foundational CDL document. Below is a graphic representation of those connections.
For those of you who have been reading the blog for the past year, we have run several posts introducing IB in more detail. Despite the common misunderstanding, the Diploma Program is only one part of the K-12 approach to becoming an IB school. Dave Michel does a great job of explaining some of the myths around IB education in these two posts - Part 1 and Part 2. The Primary Years Program uses a concept-based, trans-disciplinary framework that provides a beautiful way to approach learning from a connected instead of a "bucketed by disciplines" way with elementary students. Dave explores two important elements of an IB education - Approaches to Learning and Capstone Projects.
Jim McKenzie, Head of School at The Rock School in Gainesville, recently led his school to move from a traditional to an IB for All model. He provides the rationale for this move in his post Why We Chose International Baccalaureate for our K-12 Christian School. He provides some valuable reflections on this journey of change here - important lessons for any school moving into a Deeper Learning journey.
In summary, I highly recommend attending one of these pre-conference opportunities at Surrey Christian, Abbotsford Christian, or White Rock Christian! Site visits are one of the most powerful ways to learn - you can observe, reflect, ask questions, process with colleagues, and open yourself to new possibilities!
This week we have been working on an optional Thursday night experience for CDL6 attendees - a time to relax and enjoy good food, fellowship, and fun! Stay tuned for details - we will be sending out information for sign-up to people currently registered as our spaces may be limited for this evening opportunity. So, also - get registered!
We are really excited about and blessed by the partners who will be joining us at our conference! All will be sharing information at their tables, and some will be doing workshops and EMT's (Eleven Minute Talks). We seek partners who understand and get behind the mission of CDL and who have genuinely helpful ways to support your work. Here are a few of our partners - we will highlight more each week. Click on each logo for more information.
Editor's note about the Digest: We hope to share with you each week articles of interest that you may have missed. This will include current information as well as previous blog posts from CDL that perhaps you didn’t have time to read the first time around. If you have items you think may be of interest, please feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.