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Volume 7, Issue 1

Volume 7, Issue 1

A Weighty Issue: Finding the Balance Between Justice and Mercy in the Classroom
Ruth Givens

Considering the conundrum educators face with administering ethical decisions concerning their students, the author discusses the options of Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill, which utilize rationalism to adjudicate decisions requiring issues of equity in their classrooms. However, the author addresses the conflicts inherent among Christian educators whose spiritual perspectives transcend rational presuppositions as the only methods to make decisions that contribute balance and fairness to those deciding between justice and mercy.

Christian Special Educators Responding to the Call to Serve: the Perception of Disability with a Christian Worldview Lens
Nilsa J. Thorsos

Most Christian special education teachers respond to a call to teach children with disabilities and are inspired to share the plan, purpose, and perspective of Christ; in other words to have the mind of Christ (Tucker, 1996, p. 29). This paper examines how the Old and New Testament traditions permeate the way people with disabilities are perceived in Western culture. An examination of the Old Testament shows a perception of disability as connected with sin, a manifestation of God’s punishment and exclusion of people with disability from the temple (Winzer, 1993, p. 17). The New Testament provides narratives of compassion and inclusion of people with disabilities in the covenant of Christ. Christian special education teachers need to recognize their true calling as one of hope and compassion. Christian institutes of higher education are charged to ensure special education teacher candidates examine their own perceptions of disability with a Christian worldview lens in order to enable full participation of children with disabilities.

The Effect of Professional Development on a Mexican Mission School: A Case Study
Vickie Cook

Since the early 1990s, there has been a growing body of literature regarding the facilitation of deeper thinking among educators based on the opportunity for in-service professional development (Darling-Hammond, 2003; Garet, Porter, Desimone, Birman, & Yoon, 1999, 2001; Reeves, 2010; Smith & O’Day, 1991). In-service professional development provides teachers with the opportunity to consider alternative solutions to teaching and learning situations.

A Case for Student Teacher Placement as Preparation for Future Urban Educators
Debra S. Espinor

Do schools of education effectively train young, white, and middle-class teacher candidates to work in urban classrooms? How can schools of education prepare teachers and future teachers for classrooms that are diverse in terms of race/ethnicity, nationality, social class, language and other differences (Nieto, 2004) Classrooms that used to be homogeneous are now diverse, yet the predominant face and gender of the teacher has remained the same. Dramatic inequalities exist in the access that students around the globe have to an excellent, high quality education; inequalities that are lamentably too frequently based on race, social class, language, and other differences (Orfield, 2001). Using data from a descriptive survey, this paper will draw from the experience of eleven teacher candidates in racially diverse urban elementary schools through their first year of teaching to provide recommendations for future program improvements to strengthen existing teacher education programs internationally. Using both qualitative surveys and descriptive statistics, this research strives to answer the question of how to educate the strongest teacher candidates for urban classrooms worldwide.

The Power of Reflective Collaboration to Explore Personal Belief Systems in Teacher Preparation Courses
Kathryn Picanco

The purpose of this article is to examine the need for intentionally designed faith integration conversations to explore the personal belief systems and concerns of teacher candidates through the use of effective reflective collaboration strategies in their preparation courses. The influence of one’s prior experiences and personal belief system cannot be underestimated when working effectively in a pluralistic society. This necessitates that all teachers be cognizant of how their belief system shapes interactions with students and families, as well as how they plan for instruction. Student voice and reflective collaboration techniques are important instructional tools that can be integrated into teacher preparation courses at Christian universities to assist pre-service teachers in reaching this understanding. Practical strategies to address faith integration questions are discussed in this article to assist instructors with incorporating student voice and reflective collaboration practices in their university classrooms.

Book Review: Wolters, A. (2005). Creation regained: Biblical basics for a reformational worldview (2nd ed.).
Hee Kap Lee

Letter from the Editor
Christina Belcher

Spotlight – James Swezey

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