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Using 21st Century Practices: Results of CEI’s Survey of Principals and Other Leaders

Updated: May 27, 2021

By Christine Mason, CEI Executive Director


Use of 21st Century Practices. For the purposes of the survey, CEI considered 21st Century Learning in terms of the practices CEI describes in our proposed approach ‘“ Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM), neuroscience, and Heart Centered Education, CEI’s signature approach to social emotional learning.

Results suggested that use of mobile technologies and STEAM were most frequently.

  1.  49% reported using mobile technologies frequently  

  2. 31% reported using STEAM frequently 

In contrast, other practices such as neuroscience- brain-based practices, flipped classrooms, and blended learning were reported to be used less often.


Q1: Please consider your use of the following 21st Century learning practices in your school. Rate these on a scale from #1 (least frequently used) to the #3 (most frequently used).

Importance. Principals and other leaders were also asked how important 21st Century elements were in their schools. For this question, items were related to the CEI Heart Centered 21st Century Rubric, a research-based interactive matrix  and evaluation system that can be used for visioning, planning, self-assessment, evaluation, and monitoring). The CEI Rubric includes 5 domains (consciousness, compassion, courage, confidence, and community) and 7 strands (neuroscience, STEAM, cultural responsiveness, justice and equity, self-awareness, student voice, and general). Given the interest in mindfulness at the current time, participants were asked about their opinions regarding mindfulness and meditation as well. 

The percentages of principals and other leaders reporting that the following were very important follows: 

  1.   STEM/STEAM (47%)

  2.   Cultural Responsiveness (46%)

  3.   Social Justice and Equity (45%)

  4.   Student Voice (40%)


Question 5: How important are the following 21st Century Components in Your School. (Rate on a scale of 1-5, 5 being high)

Yoga and Meditation. Given CEI’s interest in yoga and meditation as strategies to reduce stress, increase a sense of well-being, recover from trauma, and help to establish new neural pathways, we also asked respondents their opinions about how these were used in their schools.

  1. 60% indicated that individual teachers were using yoga stretching and techniques during regular school hours

  2. 51% are using meditation and deep breathing

  3. 47% indicated that teachers had requested yoga to help relieve their stress

  4. 29% were considering adding or expanding yoga at their schools

  5. 29% use outside consultants to help with implementation of yoga

  6. 23% used yoga in afterschool programs

ESSA. Given the recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), CEI also asked questions regarding principal and school leader involvement with ESSA implementation in their states. 

  1. 74% reporting know quite a lot about implementation of ESSA in their states

  2. 71% have reported that they had ideas for alternatives to measuring academic performances

  3. Only 36% were actively trying to influence implementation of ESSA in their states

  4. Only 26% reported being asked by their district to provide input for implementation of ESSA


Q4: Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, states are becoming more involved in making decisions about their own programs. Please rate how true each statement is true for you (Scale 0 : Not True, 1: Somewhat True, 2: Very True)


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