Authentic Christian Schools around the world, whatever their resources, are committed to Biblical Truth, continuous improvement, and transformed communities.
School leaders are professionally enabled to engage in a continuous school improvement process that is internationally benchmarked to appropriate and attainable standards resulting in authentic Christian schools.
In August 2012, a gathering of more than 140 Christian school leaders from more than 30 African nations, called The ACSI Africa Round Table 2, was held in Johannesburg, South Africa. The leaders at this event produced a united conference statement identifying 10 strategic catalysts for transformative action in the Christian schooling movement across Africa on local, regional, and continental levels. One of these catalysts was a call to develop a tool that would state educational best practice standards, create a system for accountability and provide a means to assess whole school improvements.
As a result of the school improvement catalysts identified at ART2 by its constituents, the ACSI Africa director, Samson Makhado, tasked ACSI Global with the responsibility of developing a protocol addressing this need.
These Christian school leaders want excellence in every aspect of their ministry. They desire a contextualized, Christian school improvement process that will be recognized as setting standards of excellence in education; that Christian schools are the “schools of choice.”
In the ART2 declaration, seven of the action points together could be summed up as, “We must have a transformation in our schooling and clear understanding of what defines an authentic Christian school. We need standards.”
Training is necessary to assure an understanding of the standards. Paths to School Improvement (PSI) assumes that many school leaders have neither had the training, nor higher levels of education that have exposed them to education standards or best practices nor that these foundational aspects are grounded in biblical truth.
Continuous school improvement motivated by a deep desire for excellence (and not merely to appease the inspector) is NOT an inherent value. PSI inculcates a deep value for school improvement laid on a biblical foundation for the pursuit of excellence at whatever point of resources the school has available.
Despite the desire and good intentions of many “Christian” schools, the distinctive of what truly constitutes “Christian Education,” Christian Philosophy of Education, and Biblical Worldview Integration are also NOT inherent in schools that have not been equipped for Christian education. PSI assumes that most educators will teach in the same model as they observed teachers before them. Most Christian teachers and school leaders have not learned how to integrate their faith into every subject and aspect of teaching, learning, and school culture for deep systemic school transformation.
PSI assumes that group learning is significantly more effective than learning alone. In the PSI program, school leaders learn together, grow together, share problems and ideas together, and build each other up! Christian schools should not be in competition.
PSI assumes the significant outcome of sustained development of the national association of Christian schools. Overall, the association will be strengthened as more and more schools in a country go through this process.
Leaders from five to ten schools are assigned to a learning group, known as a cohort, for the duration of the PSI process of approximately two years. The cohort will meet for five sessions, each session spaced about four to six months apart. Each session will last three to five days. Each session will build upon the prior session, leading to the completion of the PSI process.
The program begins with the biblical foundation for school improvement followed by the presentation of the standards, accompanied by training for understanding. Guided authentic dialogue and transparent self-assessment are followed by standards implementation assignments and further reassessment at each of the following sessions
We know God is bringing many to himself through Christian schooling and we know the PSI has only come this far by the clear hand of God.
The PSI will only happen as we acknowledge God as the author and provider of this program. This, in so many ways, is a program that only God can pull off!
Would you pray with us? We need God to call people with the heart and skills to serve in this program. Seed funding is needed to implement the program in a new location.
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! – Eph 3:20 MSG
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