Program Overview

ACSI and CSI Christian School Educators Science Academy

Association of Christian Schools International and Christian Schools International are partnering with Van Andel Education Institute to provide teachers and member schools the opportunity to participate in a unique professional development program designed to support transformation of science teaching and learning to a practice-based culture.


A team of science education specialists from the Van Andel Education Institute will facilitate the training. VAEI is a Grand Rapids, Michigan, based 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to advancing science education to increase the number of students choosing to pursue a career in science-related fields. Based in an 11,000 square foot innovation lab that is a learning center, the institute encourages exploration, testing, and refining practice-based teaching and learning approaches with students and teachers in the fields of science and engineering.

Instructional Model

Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI) developed the VAEI Community of Practice (CoP) model for science instruction based on research findings that optimal learning of science occurs through a process of inquiry. CoP incorporates the tenets advocated by, among others, Project 2061, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Science Education Standards, and the National Research Council (NRC).

To enable students to learn science through scientific practices and a process of inquiry, the instructional model supports the six strands of scientific proficiency as identified by the National Research Council (Taking Science to School, 2007; Learning Science in Informal Environments, 2009; A Framework for K-12 Science Education, 2012).


Association of Christian Schools International and Christian Schools International, through their donor bases, underwrite the majority of the cost. CSESA participants from ACSI and CSI member schools will pay a $250 fee, and non-member schools will pay a $750 fee. All other food, lodging, and tuition costs, plus up to a $500 allowance for travel, are covered by ACSI and CSI for ACSI and CSI member schools.

Uniquely Christian

The study of science is one method of learning about God as he reveals himself in creation. Science is important for studying cause and effect and natural relationships in the material world. It can explain how events occur, but it cannot explain why. For this reason, understanding scientific study in the light of biblical revelation is vital. The Bible tells us who the creator is and explains our relationship to him, each other, and the creation, while science gives us some insight into how God acts in his creation. The Bible and science are complementary, together helping us understand God’s plan and purpose for creation. Throughout the training, attendees will examine a biblical perspective and discuss Christian responses to the Community of Practice model with the guidance of a trained biblical worldview facilitator.