CAIS Top 12 - Archived

#1: School Purpose

Behind Khan Academy and Arizona State University's Khan World School launch

In this blog post, Michael B. Horn, co-founder and distinguished fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute, writes about The Khan Academy and Arizona State University Prep Digital's partnership to launch the Khan World School, a virtual school for high schoolers. Horn details three areas where the school's design should result in important advances for education more broadly: Social, Mastery and Value.

#2: School Leadership

4 Tips for School Leaders Starting DEI Work

The authors of this Edutopia article offer four preliminary steps that school leaders can take to launch sustainable and authentic work for celebrating diversity, moving toward equity, and practicing inclusion. They stress the importance of doing the work yourself, identifying and building community with your school-based partners, and setting attainable goals.

#3: Governance

In this blog post, education consultant Ian Symmonds writes, "The concept of innovation must be among the most overused in business circles today. In our industry sectors, schools, colleges and nonprofits claim innovation as a common organizational attribute. And, what they pass off as innovation is often nothing more than staying up to date with the industry." Symmonds offers four things that "true innovation" does.

#4: Education Program Foundation

Study: Too Many Structured Activities May Hinder Children's Executive Functioning

This Education Week article looks at a new study in which psychologists at the University of Colorado and the University of Denver studied the schedules of 70 six-year-olds. They found that the kids who spent more time in less-structured activities had more highly-developed self-directed executive function. According to the article, "when children spend more time in structured activities, they get worse at working toward goals, making decisions, and regulating their behavior."

#5: Learning & Teaching

Zombie apocalypse creates new world to explore in English 220

This article is about Dr. Roger Davis, Head of English and an instructor at Red Deer Polytechnic. According to the article, Davis "has found an engaging way to teach his students about literature, culture, ethics, politics and society: he has creatively gamified the course, turning it into a zombie apocalypse for them to navigate." In May, Davis received the Alberta Colleges and Institutes Faculties Association (ACIFA) Innovation in Teaching Award.

#6: Student Well-Being & Support

Addressing childhood anxiety as early as kindergarten could reduce its harmful impacts

The authors of this article in The Conversation are researchers with the Offord Centre for Child Studies in the department of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at McMaster University. They undertook a population-wide study of kindergarten-age children attending public schools across Canada between 2004 and 2015. Their results show that a child showing signs of anxiety in kindergarten is three to six times more likely to be vulnerable in other areas of their development than their peers. The authors stress that the study results can provide important information for policy.

#7: Essential Concepts

What Fact-Checkers Know About Media Literacy—and Students Should, Too

For this Edutopia article, Research and Standards Editor Youki Terada looks at a study by Sam Wineburg, a professor of education at Stanford and his colleagues that set out to determine whether they could teach kids to "read laterally". Lateral reading is a strategy used by professional fact-checkers and involves leaving an unfamiliar website to cross-check information on the open web. The study found that doing so nearly doubles students' ability to evaluate the credibility of digital content. The article includes five tips for setting kids up to succeed at lateral reading.

#8: Custodial Care

This ICEF Monitor article looks at data from the Independent Schools Council (ISC) Annual Census, which showed that there had been a significant overseas expansion for ISC schools. Some key points:
  • Almost half (24,670) of the students in ISC schools in the UK are there without their parents, who are still overseas, and most of those students are boarders.
  • The largest proportion of those students are from Hong Kong (5,850)
  • The number of Chinese students attending ISC schools without their parents has declined sharply over the past couple of years.

#9: Recruitment & Community Engagement

In this Veritus Group blog post, Jeff Schreifels stresses, "Donors are not a means to an end. They are the lifeblood of helping you carry out your mission. Treat them as such." The post includes 21 things for non-profits to work on to ensure your organization is in a much better, donor-centred place.

#10: Human Resources

Addressing employee burnout: Are you solving the right problem?

This McKinsey Health Institute article discusses recent findings of a global survey on workplace factors underlying employee mental health and well-being. To help spark conversation, the article includes eight questions for reflection and recommendations for addressing burnout-related challenges.

#11: Finance

Low-Cost, High-Impact Innovation

In this Net Assets piece, Jeffrey Shields, NBOA President and CEO, reflects on a recent article he read that featured ways schools can innovate within limited budgets. His favourite suggestions that could apply to independent schools are gathering ideas from students and taking action, making learning more active, and expanding the curriculum by tapping new sources of expertise.

#12: Facilities & Infrastructure

Havergal College project a wood use award winner

This article in the Journal of Commerce is about the expansion/renovation of Havergal College's Upper and Junior School, which received the Ontario Wood Design Institutional Award for 2021. The project was designed to meet the Toronto Green Standards and achieve LEED Gold Certification. The article includes some beautiful photos.

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