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Volume 8, Issue 1

Volume 8, Issue 1

Teaching Our Education Students to Teach Christianly
John Van Dyke, Dordt College

What does it mean to teach Christianly? We may not always agree on what it means. There can be no doubt, however, that the calling of teacher education departments in Christian post-secondary institutions is to prepare students to teach Christianly, whether in public or Christian schools. But how do we do this? I shall address this question by considering four themes:

    • current conceptions of what it means to teach Christianly,
    • an alternative model,
    • the context of teaching Christianly, and
    • some implications for our teacher education programs.

Faculty Perceptions of Teacher Professionalism in Christian Schools
James A. Swezey, Liberty University and Donald E. Finn, Regent University

Able school administrators understand that teachers are their most valuable asset. If Christian schools are to effectively serve the families who entrust their children to their care, teachers must demonstrate both professional competency and godly character. This study was an investigation of faculty perceptions of teacher professionalism at ten Christian schools in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. An online survey of 24 items was completed by 230 teachers (males=30; females=200). The survey instrument was a modified version of Tichenor and Tichenor’s (2009) four dimensions of teacher professionalism. Data were analyzed using a multivariate analysis-of-variance (MANOVA) with gender as the independent variable. Results demonstrated statistically significant variance in totals on 18 of 24 individual items, three of the four dimensions, and on the total score.

Cultural Humility: A Framework for Local and Global Engagement
Eloise Hockett, George Fox University, Linda Samek, George Fox University, and Scot Headley, George Fox University

Many institutions of higher education have implemented local and global engagement opportunities as a way to expose both students and faculty to different cultures and further their knowledge of those cultures. One of the primary goals of these cultural experiences is for students and faculty to become more culturally competent.  However, it is possible that our current way of thinking and promoting cultural competency within education specifically may not go deep enough and could be considered limiting in the ways we partner, collaborate, and interact with people groups different than ourselves.  Cultural humility, a construct currently accepted in some professional preparation programs in the medical field, may be the foundation from which to shift our thinking and practices about cultural competence within education and provide a deeper meaning and understanding to our work around the globe. This article describes the experiences and reflections, as well as personal and professional applications of three faculty members from George Fox University as we have participated extensively in global engagement experiences.  Each faculty member addresses three questions that we considered which directly related to our experiences and learning journeys: (1) How have we changed our perceptions or assumptions as a result of our interactions within the context of these opportunities?  (2) Have we changed our practices or thinking?  (3) Are we more culturally competent as a result of these experiences than before we embarked on our global engagement initiatives?

Teacher Candidates’ Perceptions of the Integration of Faith and Learning as Christian Vocation
Laurie R. Matthias, Trinity International University and Karen Wrobbel, Trinity International University

The overriding purpose of Christian liberal arts colleges in the United States is to offer a comprehensive education to their students. Inherent in this goal is the deliberate integration of Christian faith with academic content; it is, after all, what differentiates Christian institutions of higher education from their secular counterparts (Muntz & Crabtree, 2006). The mission statement of Trinity International University (TIU) in Deerfield, Illinois is to “educate men and women for faithful participation in God’s redemptive work in the world by cultivating academic excellence, Christian fidelity and lifelong learning.” The Division of Education that prepares candidates for certification to teach in K-12 schools in the state of Illinois defines its more specific mission thusly: “to develop highly qualified Christian teachers who view teaching as a mission; they nurture their students, reflect critically on their practice, and facilitate classroom experience to maximize the potential of all learners.” Implicit in this conceptual framework is that faculty members will engage in their own integration of faith and learning so that they can model what it means to be Christian teachers.

Leadership in Private Christian Schools: Perceptions of Administrators
Suzanne Harrison, George Fox University and Janine Allen, Corban University

The purpose of this exploratory qualitative study was to discover the perceptions of private Christian school administrators about leadership characteristics, roles, and teacher professional development. The co-researchers first conducted a demographic survey and focus group interviews with six administrators from K-12 or secondary private Christian schools in Oregon and Washington. Themes that surfaced from the data were who we are as leaders, success and celebration, and what we do as leaders. Results showed that administrators of private Christian schools tended to focus on the importance of the vision and mission of their schools, keeping in mind their influence as spiritual leaders and the importance of problem solving and decision making. Servant leadership was identified as well. However, little information was shared about how they supported teacher professional development or student academic achievement.

Making Disciples: The Effects of Technology Integration Coaching
Dawn Wilson, Houston Baptist University, Linda Brupbacher, Houston Baptist University, Cynthia Simpson, Houston Baptist University, Rachel Merren, Houston Baptist University, Ranelle Woolrich, Houston Baptist University

This paper describes a pilot study of collegial coaching for technology integration at two private Christian schools. Two students nearing completion of a Master’s in Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in Instructional Technology each coached three fellow teachers, self-described as digital immigrants, to integrate technology into their teaching. The coaches spent an average of 15 hours per teacher brainstorming, teaching, and facilitating technology integration. Information obtained from a variety of data sources (interviews, a post-coaching questionnaire, a focus group, and analyses of journals kept by both coaches and coached teachers) revealed the positive effects of their collegial coaching and suggested ideas for optimizing coaching for technology integration.

Book Review: Metaphors We Teach By: How Metaphors Shape What We Do In Classrooms.
E. Christina Belcher, Redeemer University College

Letter from the Editor
E. Christina Belcher

Spotlight on Susanna Steeg