ACSI Membership

Propeller Academy became members of ACSI in March 2011. The Association of Christian Schools International is a resource for Christian schools around the world. We are excited to be a part of this great organization.

Multiple Intelligences in School

At Propeller, we stress the importance of understanding perceptions, developing skills, and utilizing imagination through a Biblical worldview. An aspect of our educational philosophy is the use of multiple intelligences. While aspects of this approach are used by many teachers, there are only a handful of schools cultured around implementing multiple intelligences (MI) in the United States. MI theory consists of eight areas that a individual can exhibit strength in. It is common for children to be strong in two or three areas and weaker in two of three areas. This awareness allows us to create a school where everyone is smart – we are just smart differently. Since each person is unique, we believe that it is appropriate to tailor activities and lessons towards various MI. It would not be practical to have every lesson taught through MI, however it is a pathway to create understanding, spark curiosity and allow for diversity amongst the student population so that negative aspects of competition and comparison are reduced and the healthy aspects of competition and comparison build competence, confidence and appreciation for the strengths that every person has.

George Lucus, filmmaker of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, has created an education foundation called Edutopia. This foundation explores ideas about project based learning and multiple intelligences – primarily for public schools. While some ideas only apply to public schools (standardized testing, annual yearly performance (AYP) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB), there are some great resources to inspire how Propeller Academy can innovate education for amazing kids.

Here is a video that shows what implementing multiple intelligence theory into school does for students and how it changes the way learning is experienced:

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Children Will Change the World

I like to day dream. This trait was obvious to my parents, my teachers and even my siblings. I would lay on my back and look at the clouds and pick out the floating animals. I would look up at the ceiling of my house and imagine what life would be like if we lived upside down. Day dreaming is fun.

While I don’t have a lot of time for day dreaming today, I do choose to continue to live a life in pursuit of God-sized dreams. I have become convinced that many adults are overlooking the importance of raising up great kids. Yeah, I know. I’ve hear the slogans about our children being our future and how we can change the world. But, life can get so busy, and life can get so hard, that the task of nurturing our kids and helping them to dream gets prioritized to tomorrow, or the next paycheck, or next year.

Dreams are great. They can paint a picture of an unseen reality – and we need that. However a vital component of dreams coming true – is to do something to actually help it happen.

You may dream of going on a great trip to Disney World. There is a chance you could win an all expense paid trip, but it is more likely that you will dream about it, make a plan, start saving, anticipate it…and then experience it.

Propeller Academy came about because of a dream, but there are dozens of adults and children who are committed to taking the required steps, by faith, to see a dream become a reality. It requires prayer, hard work, tenacity, smarts, more prayer, rest, asking for wisdom, seeking wise council and doing the right things – every single day. That is the journey of any person who has seen amazing things happen. It is the same with building great organizations.

In the nearly twenty years that I have worked with organizational leaders, the difference between average and great boils down to constantly attending to the vision of the organization and then doing something. As I practice the disciplines required to create Propeller, everyday I focus on accomplishing at least three high value activities. These days the benchmark hovers around ten to twenty high value activities. Why? Because it takes persistence and hard work to see great things happen. More importantly though, it is because of the vision that Propeller Academy will make a big difference in the lives of children who need us to equip them to change the world.

We cannot wait until someone else does it. There is a growing crisis amongst our children and they need hope. The church cannot do it alone. Parents cannot do it all alone. Kids cannot do it alone. Schools cannot do it alone.

We are all a part of one body – and we need every part to be functioning. Propeller Academy exists to partner with parents, students, churches, and the greater community to resource God’s plans.

We care about kids, and families, and the Great Commission. What if there was a better way? What if God wanted to establish an amazing group of excited and equipped kids to change their world?

Recently I was challenged with this question, “What would you do if you knew for certain that God was on your side?” Would you be more willing to take a risk? What would you be willing to sacrifice to see God do something amazing in your kids? In your family? In your community? In the world?

Dreams are great,  but it’s time to put dreams into action to see what can happen when we live by the faith we actually claim to have. It’s time to create the realities we desire to our children to experience. It’s time to be intentional and take a step in the direction of something amazing.

I ran across this video which I think is truly fascinating about children and their opportunity to influence their world. Propeller Academy’s one-to-one campaign could be a huge answer to the problems so many children are facing globally. The only thing that stands in the way of this type of influence is people who are willing to dream and take the steps of faith to make it a reality. Would you like to be a part of something amazing?

Global Trends Reveal Opportunity for Christian Education

In the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink (2009) writes about the impact of the three A’s (Abundance, Asia and Automation) on our current situation and future realities.

Pink’s notion that material wealth has left people desiring more in their lives is similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs that says when basic needs are satisfied, people begin to look for more meaning in life. Abundance allows for people to seek beauty, significance and purpose. Our society celebrates acts of selfless care, living to make a difference and seeking your true self. One example is talk show host Oprah Winfrey who inspires and tells stories of people who are making a difference and people who are finding their true selves. Her message resonates with her audience because they want to experience more beauty in their lives. While there is controversy about her belief system, there is little doubt about her impact on our culture.

The rise of Asian economic influence is a new reality within the business sector. The idea that routine functions can be done for less helps to make profit. Another advantage to having these countries economies grow is that is raises their standard of living. For decades, countries with high percentages of poverty (China, India, Pakistan, Philippine’s) have relied upon international aid or charity to care for the poor – if they have cared at all. By creating access to better wages, these countries can provide opportunities for their people and raise the standards of education and economic security. The work ethic, determinism and the ability to see the opportunity makes these workers strong allies in global economics.

The opportunity for industrialized nations is to continue to innovate, invent, and create economic growth in new business development – or as Pink describes, “The Conceptual Age”. Another benefit of globalization is that it is now easier than ever to deliver products and services to new markets and new pockets of people that have never been able to purchase items due to poverty. By opening global markets, Americans can still flourish economically because there are simply more people who need them.    Localized services are still going to be in demand. Children need care providers, elderly people need lawn services, and houses will still need repairs etc. While the debate rages about globalization and creates fear about jobs, I believe that there are many reasons to be hopeful that the future may not be bleak as some futurists predict. While the Bible prophesies Christ’s return, the Bible also commands believers to hold unto hope and to not be afraid.

Automation is a tool to build efficiencies and profitability, but it is not a relational experience nor does not fit every business/education model. Automation allows for reports to be run and for processes to get smoother, but people still need to interact with the automated procedures to create the meaningful experience that customers expect. Recently, I needed to schedule an appointment. I chose to do it online because the telephone option had a 20-minute wait. The criteria for me is that if a computer can do it faster, let it.

When it comes to education, if a computer can replace a teacher – the teacher is not that good. A great teacher knows how to utilize automated technologies to interact with students. For quizzes, tests and tracking activity – it makes sense to automate because it allows a teacher to focus on higher level thinking activities, like discussions, to help develop learners. I firmly believe that technology is a tool; not a replacement for relational connections.

The hardest part of any tool is getting people to know what it is capable of. A piano is a great instrument on its own, but to experience its true majesty, it has to be in the hands of a talented musician who has taken the energy to learn how to make it work. The same is true of educators who are willing to continue to learn how to use new technological tools. Educators who practice and explore new possibilities will advance the learning experience to a true artistic, beautiful and meaningful level. This new reality should excite educators because it will allow them to experience a greater level of autonomy, mastery and significance through their work that is more engaging and fun to participate in.