ACSI Releases Groundbreaking Findings from Flourishing Schools Study

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Association of Christian Schools International is pleased to announce the release of a national report on ACSI ‘s Flourishing Schools Research, a groundbreaking study designed to answer the most relevant questions Christian educators face today.

The ACSI Flourishing Schools Research is the first study of this magnitude to examine Christian school cultures and how they flourish.

Dr. Lynn Swaner, ACSI’s Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Cardus Senior Fellow, and lead author of the report, says the study answers the following questions: How do Christian schools flourish? What elements of school culture contribute to flourishing, and do some elements matter more than others? Is there a roadmap to school flourishing that can be validated by empirical research in Christian schools?

“The answers to these questions matter for Christian schools to improve and grow—in teaching and learning, spiritual formation and discipleship, engaging and serving the community, and modeling leadership and best educational practice,” explained Swaner.

According to Swaner, the Flourishing Schools research is unique not only because of its size and scope—analyzing more than 15,000 survey responses from Christian school teachers, leaders, students, alumni, parents, support staff, and board members—but also because it is the first study of this magnitude to examine Christian school cultures and how they flourish. “Christian schools are underrepresented in academic research writ large,” said Swaner, “so a study of this size and rigor on the Christian school sector is groundbreaking.”

The national report provides insights for school leaders on practices and cultural values that contribute to Christian school flourishing and to positive outcomes for students, teachers, and leaders. The report findings provide a holistic picture of flourishing, which is well-aligned with Christian schools’ faith foundation. As Swaner explains, “Our research found that flourishing schools are communities of students, educators, and families who not only have a strong learning orientation, but who also are firm in their purpose, prioritize relationships, develop expertise and resources with excellence, and care about student and educator well-being.”

A two-year, grant-funded initiative, the Flourishing Schools study centered on the development and fielding of a powerful new research tool—the Flourishing School Culture Instrument (FSCI). The statistical power of the FSCI enables predictive insights on over 40 constructs related to school flourishing. In addition to national insights released today, participating schools will receive an individualized report highlighting their unique strengths and opportunities for growth in these areas.

Swaner says that further national-level reports that zero in on leadership practices, parent and student satisfaction, and other areas linked to school flourishing are forthcoming this fall and next spring.

At ACSI, Swaner leads initiatives to address compelling questions and challenges facing Christian education. Prior to joining ACSI, she served as a Christian school administrator and a graduate professor of education in New York. In addition to this new release, Swaner is the lead editor of MindShift: Catalyzing Change in Christian Education and PIVOT: New Direction for Christian Education. She is also co-author of Bring It to Life: Christian Education and the Transformative Power of Service Learning, editor of the ACSI blog, and host for the podcast Moving Forward in Christian Education.

For more information, and to download the national report, visit acsi.org/flourishingschools.


About ACSI

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., ACSI exists to strengthen Christian schools and equip Christian educators worldwide as they prepare students academically and inspire them to become devoted followers of Jesus Christ. ACSI advances excellence in Christian schools by enhancing the professional and personal development of Christian educators and providing vital support functions for Christian schools by offering multiple services including teacher and administrator certification, school accreditation, legal/legislative assistance, and curriculum publishing. Serving more than 25,000 schools in 108 countries, ACSI helps more than 5.5 million students worldwide connect to Christian education.

For more information on the ministry, visit www.ACSI.org or follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ACSIUSA or on Twitter at @ACSIUSA.


CONTACT: Larry Lincoln, [email protected]

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