CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: School Purpose

A Vision Of Schooling That's Both Tech-Savvy And Values-Driven

For this Forbes article, Senior Contributor Frederick Hess looks at Marina Umaschi Bers's new book, Beyond Coding: How Children Learn Human Values Through Programming. Umaschi Bers is a professor of computer science and human development at Tufts University who believes there is no necessary distinction between humane classrooms and tech-infused ones. Hess says Umaschi Bers's book offers "a way to think about computer and technology education that doesn't wall it off from attempts to cultivate character, values, and virtue."

#2: School Leadership

When Crisis Management Becomes Conflict Management

In this Harvard Business Review article, Organizational Psychologist Merete Wedell-Wedellsborg says that as we enter year three of the pandemic, we are entering a new psychological phase dominated by a psychological reaction called "splitting". This mental defence mechanism allows us to tolerate difficult emotions by resorting to black-or-white thinking. To manage this tense and conflict-ridden phase, leaders need to identify splitting triggers in themselves, spot splitting behaviour in their teams and focus on reuniting and reintegrating relationships.

#3: Governance

Institutional Strategic Plans: Control v. Vision

Alex Usher, founder and CEO of Higher Education Strategy Associates, says that while institutions are expected to make strategic plans "that are both visionary *and* designed to control", the kind of work that goes into each of these two types of planning is quite different. Usher stresses that institutions typically only need one or the other of these planning exercises.

#4: Education Program Foundation

A Manifesto For Magicians: Why Ken Robinson Gives Everyone in School a Wand

In this blog post, David Willows, Co-founder and Strategic Director at [YELLOW CAR], looks at Sir Ken Robinson's suggestion (in the book Imagine If... Creating a Future for Us All, completed and published posthumously by his daughter Kate in March 2022) that schools are in the "miracle business." After reflecting on the conditions necessary for these miracles to occur, Willows writes, "everyone has a part to play in creating those conditions that really do transform lives... as if by magic" and suggests we find ways of letting everyone in the schools know that they are in the miracle business.

#5: Learning & Teaching

Student-Driven Assessment: Building Learner Agency Through Shared Ownership

The authors of this Getting Smart article share inspiring examples of student-driven assessment. They also suggest a quick Google form with the following two questions could be a good starting point for a discussion about the role of assessment and lead to shared criteria for meaningful assignments and quality engagement :
  1. How long will you remember this assignment?
  2. How unique do you think your approach to this assignment was?

#6: Student Well-Being & Support

We Drastically Underestimate the Importance of Brain Breaks

Writing for Edutopia, Research and Standards Editor Youki Terada looks at a new study that showed the benefits of taking a short break after practicing a skill: "after learning new information, our brains continue to whir, using cognitive downtime as a virtual staging ground in which to process, organize, and integrate learned information". Leonardo Cohen, a neuroscientist at the National Institutes of Health and the study's senior author, asserts that we vastly underestimate the value of breaks when learning.

Worth a listen: On Being with Krista Tippett: Kate DiCamillo, For the Eight-Year-Old in You.

#7: Essential Concepts

Dispelling 3 common misconceptions to spur school progress

In this Christensen Institute post, Thomas Arnett, Senior Research Fellow, looks at some widely accepted, yet inaccurate, change management ideas that often lead well-intended initiatives awry.
  • Misconception 1: Student-centred practices intrinsically appeal to most teachers
  • Misconception 2: Early adopters are the key to building buy-in
  • Misconception 3: Beginning-of-year professional development (PD) ensures an initiative's success

#8: Custodial Care

New research explores student and parent perspectives on study abroad

This ICEF Monitor looks at a recent Navitas survey of over 1,000 agents in more than 70 countries which found significant proportions of people are worried about children's interrupted education. This carries with it several implications for international educators, a couple of which are:
  • Providing strong academic, language, and mental health supports for new international students is absolutely key as many students will have had inconsistent education in the past two years.
  • Developing a strong parental outreach program is also highly important, as parents will need more reassurance that their children are safe, supported, and studying in an environment that allows them to flourish in their studies.

#9: Recruitment & Community Engagement

Students As Communications Apprentices [Podcast]

Two years ago, Lauren Campbell, Publications Manager at Cretin-Derham Hall, started a student apprenticeship program for communications. In this episode of the InspirED podcast, she shares how she started the program, how it works and how it has benefitted the students and the school.

#10: Human Resources

We Need Leaders Who Get Excited About Transformational Moments

In this Strategic CHRO interview, Laurie Havanec, chief people officer at CVS Health, shared her key leadership lessons and current leadership challenges. When asked what the single best question is to ask in job interviews, Havanac suggests, "What are the fingerprints that you've left on an organization? I define fingerprints as strategic initiatives that you're proud of and that endure after you've left." She explains, "Their answer to that question can tell me a tremendous amount about how the person thinks about risk aversion, about their ability to operate in the gray, and about how they lead."

#11: Finance

Five Proven Strategies for Successful Auxiliary Programs

ISM offers five suggestions for independent schools to consider when planning for auxiliary programs to boost revenue and admission efforts. A few key points from the article are:
  • Strategic partnerships off campus can help you attract new audiences and meet programmatic goals.
  • Create short and long term goals with the "why" in mind with key stakeholders who can help prioritize goals.
  • Create a simple table with a market analysis of what other schools offer alongside what you offer and update it annually.

#12: Facilities & Infrastructure

5 best practices Baltimore schools learned from a 2020 ransomware attack

This article in K-12 Dive looks at the lessons that Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) learned after suffering a ransomware attack in 2020 that is estimated to have cost the district at least $7.7 million. According to the article, "BCPS officials shared five lessons learned from their major cyberattack for districts to keep in mind when recovering and responding to their own cybersecurity crises. Those lessons include the value of leadership, collaboration with community partners, standardized operating procedures, vetting of technology systems and creation of a software portfolio."

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