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Volume 2, Number 2: Welcome to the January 2007 Edition of the ICCTE Journal

Welcome to the January 2007 Edition of the ICCTE Journal
January 2007, Volume 2, Issue 2

Letter from the Editor

Some thoughts from our editor, Scot Headley, on the journal and our work. Read more…

About the Journal

The ICCTE Journal is a scholarly community for Christians in Teacher Education. Past issue are available here.

Post Modernism and Children’s Literature

Adel G. Aiken

All four of my own children clamored for the Sesame Street book titled, The Monster at the End of This Book. On each double page spread, Grover begged them, “Please don’t turn the page because there’s a monster at the end of this book and I am so scared of monsters.” Of course, they loved to tease Grover, so they kept turning pages. The book ends with a smiling Grover, announcing, “I, furry, lovable old Grover am the monster at the end of this book and you were so scared” (Stone, 1971). Despite the silliness of the whole book, it did breed an excitement about turning the page and was a clever way to instill interaction between author and listener or reader. Published in 1971, this particular book was possibly one of the first picture books to show the influence of postmodern thought. It recognized the reader/listener as someone who had a role to play in the story as it unfolded, someone who could influence the outcome or meaning of the story, and ultimately, someone who could question the authority of the text or the author. In the decades since the publishing of this book, many more picture books have been published that bear the mark of postmodernism, so many, in fact, that a new subgenre, postmodern picture books, has been suggested (Goldstone, 2004).

Realizing that postmodernism has impacted children’s literature, those who wish to influence children’s lives for the good need to think about the following questions. (1) What are the critical features of children’s picture books that stem from the present cultural, ideological milieu? (2) How might these changes in books impact children? (3) As a Christian, how does my faith inform my understanding of and responses to these issues? These are the questions that I will address in this paper, limiting my analysis to picture books published since 1985. Though postmodernism influenced art, architecture, and society prior to 1985 (Meacham & Buendia, 1999), its presence became more obvious in children’s literature after 1985.

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Undergraduates’ Perceptions of Ideal Learning Environments

June Hetzel and Keith Walters

Four hundred and fifty three undergraduate students were surveyed at one CCCU institution regarding perceptions of what “exists” and what they “value” related to university pedagogy, learning activities, assessments, and learning relationships. Researchers ranked students’ values and examined gaps in students’ perceptions of what students say exists at the university as compared to what they value. The highest ranked values primarily related to learning relationships, including “demonstrates Christian ethics in interactions with others” and “integrates Christian worldview in the teaching of course content.” The factor that most explained satisfaction with teaching practices was the “Methods Factor” and the single item that most explained student satisfaction with teaching practices was, “provides interesting lessons.”

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Being and Becoming: The Heart of Teacher Education

Bev Norsworthy

Teacher education is of critical concern to a nation’s well-being. Scripture clearly identifies that the predominant narratives in a nation’s education are directly linked to its citizen’s behaviour (e.g., see Psalm 78, Judges 2). Literature which claims that teacher education has little influence on beliefs that pre-service teachers bring to their initial teacher education may unnerve Christian teacher educators who seek to equip teachers to make a difference in the lives of children and parents in a nation (Berry, 2004; Fletcher, 1997; Hatton & Smith, 1995; Lowery, 2003). For example, Berry (2004, p. 1302) observes that:

There is little doubt that student teachers’ prior experiences as learners serve as powerful templates for the ways in which they practice as teachers. Their beliefs about teaching are informed by the accumulation of experience over time and, once formed, these beliefs are extremely resistant to change, even when they are shown to be inconsistent with reality.

As Christian teacher educators, it is imperative for our graduates, as well as for the children they will teach, that we indeed engage with this observation and seek ways to overcome the apparent, but well recorded resistance. This paper explores one such attempt at Bethlehem Tertiary Institute, Tauranga, New Zealand where, building on the findings from my doctoral work, a conceptual framework was developed to guide the shape of initial teacher education programs for secondary, elementary and early childhood educators. The process of ‘being and becoming’ is at the heart of this teacher education model. The visionary intention for our profession preparation programs is to develop secure, teachable and gracious teachers whose professional practice is relational, transformative and responsive educators (BTI Conceptual Framework, 2004) and has at its centre the recognition at any one time we are ‘being and becoming’ effective educators. Such an intention seeks alignment of head, heart and hands and focuses on the person who teaches.

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Multicultural Considerations for Building Learning Communities

Cher N. Edwards and Scott Edwards

Educational policies call for inclusion and attention to cultural differences in our schools. Administrators, classroom educators, counselors, and other support staff attempt to attend to students through a cooperative effort of connecting with the community beyond the school building, as well as the families represented within it. As Christians, there is a higher calling to truly embrace those often underserved in our learning communities. This paper will address multicultural issues important for United States and United Kingdom school system staff to be mindful of when focusing on students and their families.

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Preparing Teachers for Their Prophetic Role to Serve with Heart, Head, and Hands

Cindy Harvel and Martine Audéoud

As teacher preparation programs seek to diversify their pre-service teachers’ exposure to teaching situations, Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Education Department has discovered how to maximize its freshman’s educational technology field experiences through meaningful cross-cultural community service. A plan has been implemented since the spring of 2004 where candidates taking educational technology classes are required to give 8 hours of technology tutoring as a community service to populations in cross-cultural situations. Based on the Spring 2004 successes, the cross-cultural tutoring opportunities have been expanded, leading to renewed vision in candidates’ perspectives on education and job placements. At a freshman level, this challenge sets the tone for further diverse field exposure. This study will look at the multiple positive outcomes that result from a model that uses technology tutoring as the pre-service candidates’ first exposure to a cross-cultural instructional environment and thus enhances the prophetic call that rests on teachers.

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