Digital Frontiers: Testing New Tech in the Christian Classroom

May 12th, 2017

Digital learning is the new normal for schools across Canada. Eighty percent of kids in kindergarten now use computers in the classroom. Roughly half of the student body comes to school with his or her own device; 96 percent of classrooms have computers. Teachers communicate with parents less on paper and more online. Technology is … Read more

Jennifer Neutel

Dreaming Big Dreams

April 26th, 2017

“I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters; Your young men will see visions, your old men dream dreams. When the time comes, I’ll pour out my Spirit On those who serve me, men and women both, and they’ll prophesy.”  Acts 1:16b-18   For those … Read more

Diane Stronks

A Peculiar People

February 27th, 2017

“The primary goal of Christian education is the formation of a peculiar people—a people who desire the Kingdom of God.”   James K.A. Smith   As I reflect on almost 40 years in Christian education, I am extremely grateful for the conversations/practices that our Christian schools are continuing to have.  The never-ending struggle on how to … Read more

Diane Stronks

Advice for Betsy DeVos From Canada

February 24th, 2017

Good Public Education Doesn’t Require Uniformity The newly confirmed U.S. secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, will take office during a tumultuous time in American education. As a school-choice advocate, she is well-positioned to put her stamp on the expansion of charter schools and other effective—but often controversial—education reforms. DeVos has invested millions of dollars in … Read more

Beth Green

Nominations for John Rozema Awards

January 6th, 2017

Only 25 days remaining! Do you know a Christian school teacher in Ontario whose excellent practice invests purpose, rigour, and service into the lives of children, school, and community? Nominating someone for a John Rozema Teaching Excellence Award is a gift to the whole Christian school community in Ontario, and gives us an opportunity to … Read more

Beth Green

Emmanuel – God With Us!

December 15th, 2016

Over these last few weeks, as Christmas is upon us, I began to wonder why God would use a couple of teenagers to take care of his beloved Son, a helpless baby who could not protect himself. Think about it: God, the Creator of the Universe, entrusted these two young people with the most important … Read more

Diane Stronks

A Developing Story

November 29th, 2016

The Christian School Foundation and the OACS partnered together to host a Development Conference at the end of October. Here is a quick summary of what was presented, what was helpful, and what we may do differently at our second annual development conference scheduled for October 25th, 2017. At this year’s conference, we spent the … Read more

Tony Kamphuis

Leading with Love: Inclusion and Humility

October 25th, 2016

Imitating Christ’s Humility Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of … Read more

Diane Stronks

Leading with Love: Celebrations of Learning

October 19th, 2016

The mark of a true community and healthy relationships is the ability to celebrate the beauty and strength of others. We honour who God has created us to be when we help each other to develop our strengths and gifts. Scripture tells many stories of people who were called to do amazing things for their … Read more

Diane Stronks

Cardus Education Survey 2016

October 11th, 2016

  Cardus Education Survey 2016 Available Now | October 11, 2016 www.carduseducationsurvey.com HAMILTON, October 11, 2016—As debate rages across North America over the role of independent schools within public education systems, we at Cardus have released our 4th national education survey. The 2016 Cardus Education Survey confirmed findings from 2012 that undermine the stereotype that … Read more

Beth Green

Wind in the Sail

October 3rd, 2016

The location of the Christian Schools Canada conference spoke Psalm 19 language louder than words, and the words were plentiful. We were humbled by mountain majesty and challenged to reinvent and renew three generational visions from within our present institutions as we look at artifacts, arenas, rules, roles and records. We were given quadrants by … Read more

Ren Siebenga

How Great Thou Art!

September 30th, 2016

Last week, over two hundred leaders in Christian education from across North America met at the biennial Christian School Canada conference in Banff.  We had the pleasure of listening to Andy Crouch (for some of us again) talk about vulnerability and power/authority.  I have many reflections about the week but I wanted to start with … Read more

Diane Stronks

Cardus Announces John Rozema Education Awards

June 16th, 2016

Cardus President and CEO Michael Van Pelt has announced winners of the first-ever John Rozema Awards for Teacher Excellence at Ontario Independent Christian Schools. Van Pelt and John Rozema, in partnership with the Christian School Foundation, presented the awards June 9 2016 at a reception in the Royal Botanical Gardens at Burlington, Ontario. Seven teachers … Read more

Beth Green

Christian School Foundation Announces New CEO

June 2nd, 2016

The Board of Directors of the Christian School Foundation is pleased to announce Tony Kamphuis as our Foundation’s new Chief Executive Officer. Kamphuis was the unanimous choice of the CEO Search Committee, which employed the services of a professional consultant to assist with the exhaustive, four-month search. With 31 years in Christian education as a … Read more

Marlene Bergsma

Journey into Educator Growth: Assessment and Evaluation

May 25th, 2016

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant!” With those words, the servant who doubled his talents was greeted by the master of the household. Don’t we all long to hear those words said about us? We may not admit it, but encouragement for a job well done feels really good. We may be shy or embarrassed when … Read more

Diane Stronks

Hope

May 2nd, 2016

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my grandmother who taught me about engagement and meaningful work. She died when I was only twelve. What I remember most vividly about her funeral and the wake afterward was the seemingly endless stories that were told about her. I remember being astonished that people were laughing and … Read more

Diane Stronks

Hospitality as Vision

April 14th, 2016

“The hallmark of a healthy society has always been measured by how it cares for the disadvantaged.” —  Joni Eareckson Tada One of the dilemmas that we face in Christian schools is how to create communities of learning that are hospitable and welcoming to all types of families and students. Issues arise in terms of … Read more

Diane Stronks

Meaningful Work

March 30th, 2016

Years ago, I wrote a paper on the amazing educator, Maria Montessori. She was a woman who established schools in the midst of Italian ghettos, where she discovered that young children love to do the same kinds of work as adults. She taught them to clean, to prepare food, to take care of themselves through … Read more

Diane Stronks

Unity in the Body of Christ

March 8th, 2016

One of my former students commented at the end of his time at high school that one of the strengths of his experience of Christian education was meeting teachers and students from a wide variety of denominations. I found his observation insightful. Being able to understand a wide continuum of interpretations of Scripture is paramount … Read more

Diane Stronks

Paradoxes

March 2nd, 2016

Throughout my career, I have been struck by paradoxes. Mathematics and science certainly have their fair share. How is it possible to have an infinite number of points between any two points on a line? Is light a particle or a wave? In life, paradoxes also exist, and I have always been struck that the … Read more

Diane Stronks

Gratitude

February 23rd, 2016

Life is difficult. In our society we are set up to expect that life should be anything but difficult. One of my mother’s favourite songs to sing is “Count Your Blessings.” She comes from a large, singing family who liked to gather together around the piano on Sunday evenings and belt out songs. I remember … Read more

Diane Stronks

Schools as Family?

February 11th, 2016

  Over the years, I have often heard people refer to their schools or workplaces as family—as in, “we are just like a family.” I understand the sentiment and the beauty of those comments because belonging to communities where we are loved, accepted, comfortable and safe is wonderful. I believe we need to work, play, … Read more

Diane Stronks

Let’s Talk

February 9th, 2016

Last week marked the sixth year of the Bell “Let’s Talk” campaign to raise awareness about mental health. Regardless of whether you think the campaign creates less stigma or not, talking about mental health and getting the topic out from the shadows creates space for all of us to engage in this most important issue. … Read more

Diane Stronks

Student Agency

January 28th, 2016

All the best research in organizations, families, schools and generally in people’s psychological health seems to suggest that agency, or having a say in what is going on or in what affects you, is extremely important. It is extremely important to their overall health and well-being for people to feel that they have a say … Read more

Diane Stronks

Image Bearers

January 19th, 2016

[Some of these thoughts can be attributed to a devotional that Mario Matos, the Director of COCREF (Colegios Cristianos Reformados) schools in the Dominican Republic led us in last week.] What are the stories that students today dream about? What fascinates them? Who do they pretend to be? What are the dominant themes in their … Read more

Diane Stronks

Strength in Diversity

January 13th, 2016

  This reflection comes to you from the Dominican Republic. It is based on a devotional this morning by the Director of Learning of the COCREF schools, Guillermo Yan Alfonso. EduDeo has been asked to provide training for about 30 leaders in the COCREF schools on restorative practices and as a result, Anne Martin from … Read more

Diane Stronks

Blessed New Year

January 4th, 2016

Many mornings as I drove into school, I remember thinking….”I wonder what will happen today?” Teaching and working with students is unpredictable, messy and surprising. If you were like me, I’d have a plan for the day: what I was going to teach, what I would get done, how to complete my to-do list, who … Read more

Diane Stronks

Moving from Defensiveness/Competition to Participation/Cooperation

December 22nd, 2015

As a continuation of last week’s editorial on Why Edifide?, I would like to propose that Christian education is public education as it reflects our goal to educate for the common good. Historically, independent Canadian Christian education found itself on the outside looking in. In Alberta and BC, independent education has moved out of the … Read more

Diane Stronks

Heaven is Not My Home: Living in the Now of God’s Creation

December 14th, 2015

Paul Marshall’s book by the same name and “Work, Play, Love” by Mark Shaw are the two books that have inspired this column. One of the reasons that I am so excited about schools moving into the direction of projects, expeditions or connecting learning to ‘real work that serves a real need for a real … Read more

Diane Stronks

The Right Drivers

December 2nd, 2015

It is always interesting to me that people with opposing opinions tend to frame their conversations in black and white; that is, “I’m right and you’re wrong.” This posture always ends in a “win-lose” situation. This is sometimes referred to as a power struggle. We have all encountered them in our relationships, whether between spouses, … Read more

Diane Stronks

Why Edifide?

October 28th, 2015

At the beginning of every school year, the Edifide office receives requests for information about our organization, so I thought I’d focus on “Why Edifide?” for this editorial. Edifide has had a long history of working with the board organization, the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS), and the principals’ organization, the Ontario Christian School … Read more

Diane Stronks

Talking about Worldview

October 19th, 2015

When I was teaching students about worldview and varying Christian approaches to culture and the world, I often simplified them as three main stances: Separation from the culture: This stance suggests that all worldly culture is bad, and Christians need to avoid it. Culture is irredeemable, and they cannot afford to be tainted by it. … Read more

Diane Stronks

Speaking the Truth in Love

October 14th, 2015

I have wondered about many things in my years at Edifide and I hope to raise a number of these “wonderings” in subsequent editorials. The one thing that I have wondered the most about over my tenure is the intentionality of the Christian community to tell the truth (in love). As Christian educators, we would … Read more

Diane Stronks

The Tuning Protocol: Short Script

September 29th, 2015

Tuning Protocol:  Teacher (or student) presentation – Presenter gives an overview of the work and explains what goals he/she had in mind when designing the project or activity. (5 min.)  Clarifying Questions – Critical friends ask clarifying questions of the presenter. Clarifying questions have brief, factual answers. (2 min.)  “I like” / “I wonder” Feedback- … Read more

Diane Stronks

Critique and Feedback

September 21st, 2015

As our schools continue on the journey to be flourishing and vibrant communities of learning, critical thinking and critique are essential to the learning process. Last week’s editorial challenged us to “speak the truth in love” as colleagues and members of the Christian community. Educators are learning new ways to engage students to give critique … Read more

Diane Stronks

Gladwell: David and Goliath – Failing and Forgiveness

February 11th, 2014

Below is a piece that will be published very soon in the E-newsletter of the Ontario Christian Schools Administrators Association, The Rudder. “Giants are not what we think they are, the same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness”  (Gladwell, 2013, p.  6). This statement drives to the … Read more

Paul Marcus

Not Angel Factories

November 18th, 2013

At Christian schools we are often judged, rightly or wrongly, on the behaviour of our students and graduates.  Many people believe that if we are really making a difference in the lives of our students, as we claim that we are, then this difference should be manifested in the words and actions of those coming … Read more

Paul Marcus

Reflections on the McMaster Symposium

November 15th, 2013

When are students engaged in optimal learning activities?  Are some teaching practices more effective than others?  These questions I consider often and an issue I learned more about last week. Last week Thursday I attended the McMaster Symposium on Cognition, Learning, and Education in Hamilton, Ontario.  Attendees represented various fields inside of education and cognitive … Read more

Linda Delean

14 Books Christian Educators Should be Reading

November 9th, 2013

In the spirit of Justin Tarte’s list of books worth reading (Part I) (Part II), I decided I would list 14 of the more inspiring reads that I’ve come across over the past number of years.  I’ve added the qualifier “Christian” to my list identification because I think that all of these books have a … Read more

Paul Marcus

Appreciating the Lessons Learned

June 12th, 2012

With the OACS News service winding down to take a summer break along with the schools, it is a natural time of reflection, and I find myself looking back at five years of sharing stories on behalf of the organization. This year’s summer break aligns with my own change, as I prepare to take my … Read more

Jennifer Neutel