God Is a Creator, Not a Manufacturer

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Every morning in schools across America eager children enter the front door, walk down the hall to their classrooms, and are greeted by posters that say “Welcome” or “It’s a Great Day for Learning” or maybe your favorite Bible verse. There might be an apple tree on the door, with students’ names on each apple. […]

Sacred Space: Responding to God’s Presence

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We live in a noisy world that seems determined to capture the attention and hearts of children. Noise is ubiquitous! Canned music in stores and on elevators, television at the airport or in restaurants or the doctor’s office, leaf blowers, traffic, siblings, dogs, and on and on. . . . Quiet is a rare experience […]

Educating in Places, Not Spaces

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by Gail Heffner and Dave Warners Introduction Geographer Mark Bjelland notes that a space is simply a set of geographic coordinates, whereas a place is a location that has become meaningful through human habitation. He goes on to define places as having three elements: (1) a material setting, (2) a set of social relationships, and […]

Get Outside: Creation as a Space for Learning

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In this article, I am not going to cite the latest research. I am not going to analyze how all of what I am espousing will fit into the target goals or the state standards. I will not spend time justifying the value of intimately experiencing creation to an educational system that sometimes seems to […]

Modern Devices and Ancient Disciplines

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A number of years ago Microsoft ran a commercial for the Windows Phone 7. It portrayed a variety of people immersed in their smartphones while oblivious to their surroundings. The series of vignettes includes a distracted father sitting on a seesaw leaving his daughter stranded high on the other end, a hapless man absorbed in […]

Devices, Teachers, and Students: How Are Our Choices Shaped?

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Talking about technology in schools seems to come with a built-in temptation toward arguing about big threats and promises. Digital devices will connect our students to the world, transform learning, break down the walls of the school, and unleash student creativity! Digital devices will isolate our students, make them shallow, weaken their thinking skills, and […]

Teaching Well with Technology: Learning from Teachers

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Twenty-first-century digital devices are packaged with the promise of revolutionizing student learning through access to more knowledge, increased organization, wider connectivity to the world, and more. With such powerful tools at the fingertips of students, what role is left for teachers? One high schooler we interviewed said that students have “an all-knowing box of genius […]

Are Children Getting Too Much Screen Time in School?

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One of the most noticeable recent technological changes in our homes and schools is the proliferation of screens. Televisions have given way to computers, tablets, and phones, all of which serve significant functions in our lives. The abundance of these devices has caused widespread concern, particularly about youth, who seem as entranced by screens as […]

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Talk about Sexuality

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If you haven’t read Michael Gulker’s article in this issue (“How to Argue,” p. 6), I recommend you do so before reading on. Gulker is the president of The Colossian Forum, an organization based in Grand Rapids that aims to teach Christians how to have productive, Christlike discussions, even when (especially when) they disagree. If you […]