Welcome to the Fall 2015 ICCTE Journal Issue
Letter from the Editor
Educating in the Spirit: An Examination of the Person and Role of the Holy Spirit in Christian School Education (Part Two)
Thyra Cameron and James Swezey, Liberty University
This study is the second of a two-part article that examines the Person and role of the Holy Spirit in Christian school education. Part One (ICCTE Journal, 10(1)) was an extensive literature review of the Person and role of the Holy Spirit from the two perspectives. Part Two is a cross-case study of two principals who led schools representing each perspective. The rationale for this study is that since Christian schools submit to the authority of the Bible, and Scripture recognizes the preeminence of the Holy Spirit, these schools would seek to comply with these biblical prescriptions. The employment of semi-structured interviewing in a qualitative, cross-case research design suited the study. We sought to encapsulate the in-depth experience of two principals, one from a Reformed and the other from a Pentecostal/Charismatic Christian school. Through a within-case analysis of each interview, important themes were identified. In the subsequent cross-case comparative analysis, the most important themes included the transmission of truth, staff matters, and goals for learners. Additional discussion raised separately by only one of the principals addresses the themes of compliance with authority and relationship with the Spirit.
Teachers’ Understandings of Imago Dei
Beverley Norsworthy, Bethlehem Tertiary Institute and Christina Belcher, Redeemer University College
Often education is viewed pragmatically as that of preparing students for life as employees. Another view is that education is about enabling human beings to flourish. The pragmatic and flourishing paradox has consequences for national citizenship. For Christian teachers, critical to such an approach would be the manner in which their teaching practice is informed and shaped by a Christian worldview. Such shaping involves an applied knowledge with reference to understanding people, and particularly students as “Imago Dei.” This research presents a pilot study in which 120 teachers in Christian schools in New Zealand and Canada were invited, via an online survey, to respond to three questions on what it means to be made in the image of God, and how that understanding informed their practice. In appropriating the work of Dorothy Smith (2005) on the significance of “voices in the everyday” within a profession, coupled with Charteris’s (2014) “epistemological shudders,” the research engages in a discourse analysis for probing unquestioned assumptions which open up possibilities for meaning-making and, consequently, increased intentionality of practice. Following grounded methodology, the literature review was not undertaken until after the data analysis. Discussion explores the degree of fit with approaches to Imago Dei found in the literature. Data analysis identifies four approaches to participants’ meaning making of Imago Dei. Preliminary findings suggest that how teachers understand Imago Dei does make a difference to how they view themselves as teacher, view students as image bearers, and craft their teaching.
The Good Shepherd: Lessons for Teacher Education
Scott Key, The King’s University
Across the continent, the demand for increased student achievement dominates conversation. Teacher education programs are under pressure to ensure that pre-service teachers are able to step into classrooms and improve student achievement. This pressure can invite programs to focus on subject-specific and pedagogical competencies while minimizing ethical and relational aspects of teacher preparation. Yet caring relationships are central to more positive learning experiences. What should these relationships look like? For Christian teachers and teacher educators, the answer to this question lays, in part, in an examination of Jesus. This paper focuses on Jesus the Good Shepherd as seen in the Gospels. What can teachers learn from Jesus? How do these lessons impact teacher education programs?
The Troubled Sense of Otherness among Christian and Non-Christian ESL Freshmen at a Christian College in the Midwest
Yin Lam Lee-Johnson, Webster University
This study was derived from an ethnographic study conducted with five ESL learners and their peers in a Christian college in the Midwest. The theoretical framework of this article was built upon Freire’s (2000) and Kumashiro’s (2001) anti-oppressive education. The study employed various data sources to find out how Christian and non-Christian ESL freshmen experienced a sense of otherness in the local college community. The findings reveal the hidden norms in the faith-based college, which marginalized the non-Christian ESL freshmen from being legitimate participants (Lave & Wenger, 1991). The researcher provides recommendations to educators and administrators in higher education for advising international students and providing services to them. The researcher also highlights the importance of having a deeper understanding of the plights experienced by non-Christian ESL freshmen at Christian colleges in the USA.
Truth, Goodness and Beauty: Revisiting the Classic Common Core Standards
Gary Gramenz, Fresno Pacific University
As the educational community works to simultaneously understand and implement the Common Core standards and its emphasis on the development of various intellectual traits and capacities, it is worth pausing to consider this most recent educational reform in light of the classical understanding of the educational task. This article highlights three elements from the “classic” common core educational standards as understood by classical educational theorists: truth, goodness, and beauty and the role each plays in developing an educated person. These classic standards place the development and elevation of the human spirit as the foundation of all learning. Although truth, goodness, and beauty each have a unique contribution in the education of individuals, this article focuses on beauty and the way it stimulates a desire for both goodness and truth. Additionally, these standards require a different form of pedagogy; developing a commitment to truth and goodness and experiencing beauty do not come to a person with traditional forms of education. The ground for this investigation is found in the works of an ancient philosopher, Plato; a classical educational theorist, John Steward Mill; and a passage from the Christian scriptures, Psalms 27. The article culminates with suggestions, a primer for ways to bring beauty to students both in the physical environment of the classroom and in the person of the teacher.
Book Review: Bible Shaped Teaching
Christina Belcher, Redeemer University College
About the Journal
The ICCTE Journal is a scholarly community for Christians in Teacher Education.