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Volume 10 Issue 1

Welcome to the Winter 2015 ICCTE Journal Issue

Letter from the Editor
Christina Belcher


Educating in the Spirit: An Examination of the Person and Role of the Holy Spirit in Christian School Education (Part One)
Thyra Cameron and James Swezey, Liberty University

This essay is the first of a two-part article that examines the Person and role of the Holy Spirit within the context of Evangelical Christian school education. Both parts form the foundation of a study that compared and attempted to contrast two perspectives on the Holy Spirit: Reformed and Charismatic-Pentecostal. Part One is an extensive literature review of the Person and role of the Holy Spirit from the two perspectives. Part Two will be a cross case study of two principals who led schools representing each perspective. The rationale was 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 this position. The literature review provided an understanding of the Spirit’s role from the perspective of Scripture and a wide range of Christian theologians and writers. This range extended from the Reformed to the Pentecostal-Charismatic positions. Since the importance of the Spirit’s role is established, the challenge became the development of theory and praxis that recognized the ascendancy of the messenger over the message but also followed the Spirit’s example in the employment of the message. Part One concludes with a series of implications for Christian schools.

Ripples of Gratitude: The Flow-on Effects of Practicing Gratitude in the Classroom Environment
Jane Wilson, Westmont College and Paige Harris, Westmont College

This research explores God’s call to gratitude, summarizes current research on the benefits of gratitude, identifies key gratitude disciplines/practices, and utilizes a conceptual framework to study gratitude in the context of educational settings. In contribution to the relatively recent discussion on gratitude, especially in the education field, the researchers explored the effects when pre-service teachers practice an inner attitude of gratitude and intentionally express gratitude in the classroom setting. This study expands the current educational research of gratitude by incorporating three primary gratitude practices – the State of Preparedness, gratitude language, and gratitude journaling – and examining both personal benefits and flow-on effect toward the teaching-learning process. Fourteen pre-service elementary school teachers were invited to practice gratitude during nine weeks of their full-time fieldwork placements. Participants experienced personal benefits such as enhanced well-being, strengthened relationships, and heightened cognitive skills. Ripples of gratitude were observed as positive flow-on effects in their classrooms: a more positive and calmer classroom atmosphere, better behaved students, and students more willing to focus effort towards learning. Pre-service teachers also experienced a flow-on effect towards themselves through increased resiliency when facing adversity and greater satisfaction in teaching. These findings are significant for the field of education as the power of gratitude can foster positive transformation through promoting engaged environments and strengthened relationships for both teacher and student.

Exploring Perceptions of Care in Christian Teacher Education Communities: Toward a Faith-Informed Framework of Care
Cathy Freytag, Houghton College

During a recent sabbatical (spring 2013), the author investigated perceptions of care in a variety of teacher education programs at Christian colleges and universities across the United States and Canada. My purpose for engaging in this study was to ascertain whether there might be elements of care unique to teacher education programs at Christian institutions that reach beyond prevailing conceptions of care found in the feminist philosophical literature. In this article, I discuss prevalent views of care across sacred and secular lines, detail the research methodology employed in the current study, elaborate upon emergent themes and trends, propose a model of relational care upon which Christian teacher education programs might shape their communities, and identify care-related topics warranting further exploration.

Chasing the ‘Hounds of Hell’: Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited as a Curriculum for Racial Justice and Reconciliation
Sandra Richards Mayo, Azusa Pacific University

This essay explores the implications of the Trayvon Martin case for educators who must contend with the complexities of race in the context of schooling. With the assumption that race continues to function as an important category in social arrangements, this essay addresses the following questions: What is the role of race and racial stereotyping in educational disparities? How can educators work purposely toward a curriculum of racial justice and reconciliation? Drawing on the work of African American theologian and civil rights leader Howard Thurman, this essay argues that new approaches to social justice education should address both the extrapersonal and intrapersonal aspects of antiracist and antioppressive work.

Book Review

Book Review Index
Ken Badley