I am excited to draw your attention to the third annual Christian Deeper Learning conference February 27 and 28!
Who is this conference intended for?
This is for anyone interested in deeper, meaningful, biblically informed teaching and learning for students in Christian schools! Just like at our previous two conferences, we will have presenters and attendees from around the world share what they have learned as practitioners and leaders. Whether you are merely intrigued, quite interested, or well into implementation of deeper learning, there will be great opportunities for learning from and with others. Our theme this year is “Deeper by Design: The Impact of Our Practices.”
One common remark heard at our previous two conferences goes something like this: “I think I have found my tribe!” The conference will be a great encouragement if you are trying to move into the deeper learning space and want to learn from and network with others. To understand what we are after in teaching and learning, you might enjoy reading our Christian Deeper Learning document.
Is this a typical “sit and get” conference”?
Not at all! We review all of our presenter proposals to make sure that they are practicing the kind of pedagogy we advocate! We will also have three hands-on pre-conference offerings that we have labeled as follows:
- Experience It! This pre-conference session will offer a slice of deeper learning that will immerse the learner in an experience that integrates academic content, literacy skills, engaging instruction, formative assessment and spiritual formation. You will experience the kind of learning you will want to bring to your students and reflect on implications for your classroom.
- Observe It! We will tour a Christian Deeper Learning school in Denver to visit classrooms and meet with teachers and administrators to see how they are implementing Deeper Learning in their academics and school culture.
- Design It! We will begin our day engaging with exemplars of deeper learning, then, using deeper learning design tools, design our own deeper learning experiences to bring back to our own classrooms. This session will equip participants with deeper learning practices/tools that emphasize self-assessment and reflection, design, curiosity, peer feedback, and joy-filled collaboration.
Our conference workshops will be longer in length (90 minutes) so that we can go a bit deeper than in the usual 50 minutes. We are also offering intensives: three-hour sessions that allow for learning, work, reflection, and planning.
No doubt one of the highlights of this convention will be hearing from Dr. David Smith, author of the recently published book On Christian Teaching. We recommend that you read it before the convention. For years, David has been encouraging Christian schools to be thoughtful about pedagogy. Of course, you will love hearing his British accent! One of the other highlights of the convention will be our student presentation at the end. Last year we gave a standing ovation with tears of joy to the middle schoolers from Surrey Christian who shared their class park restoration project with us. We could see and hear firsthand how deeply these students were engaged in the learning process. If you have a few minutes, you can view this powerful presentation here.
What opportunities will there be to network with others?
Not only will we have times of worship and learning together, we will also have an all-group activity planned for Thursday night–we are just not going to tell you what it is yet! The last two years these nights out involved a backyard BBQ and a tour of the Dallas Cowboys facilities–great fun! These informal times of eating and activity together lead to connection and encouragement as we get to know each other and develop friendships across the world.
Where is this conference being held?
We are going to enjoy the spacious, inviting Denver Christian School campus! Several years ago, DCS purchased an office building in a business park and turned it into beautiful spaces for learning. They must be doing things right: they have won the Family Favorites Top 5 award for Colorado private schools for the last three years! And yes, they are going to open their on-site coffee shop for those of us who need that caffeine!
How do I sign up and are there any discounts?
The pre-conference and conference will be held February 26-28. We are offering the following discounts:
- Persons on a school team of three or more qualify for the group rate of $199 per person.
- Individuals registering before November 30 also qualify for this special rate of $199. After that date, the individual discount disappears; the conference rate will then be $249.
- The pre-conference day rate is $99 per person.
Dan Beerens is an educational consultant, author, international speaker, and educational leader. Before starting Dan Beerens Consulting in May 2010, he served as Vice President of Learning Services and Director of Instructional Improvement at Christian Schools International. Prior to that, he was the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Holland Christian Schools. Dan has also worked as teacher and principal in urban and suburban public and Christian schools in Wisconsin and Illinois. He serves as a Senior Fellow at CACE (Center for the Advancement of Christian Education), represents Curriculum Trak sales and professional development and serves as co-chair of the annual Christian Deeper Learning conference. He blogs regularly for CACE and is the author of Evaluating Teachers for Professional Growth: Creating a Culture of Motivation and Learning (Corwin Press) and co-editor of the recent book MindShift: Catalyzing Change in Christian Education (ACSI).