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April 2015

Organized Reading

It will be clear from the reviews of the books in this issue that the world in which we as educators work is certainly becoming more complex. In this issue, you will be introduced to writing that deals, among other things, with the treatment of girls and women around the world and in your own […]

The Top Ten Books for Adolescents and Young Adults That You Need to Read Right Now

10. Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. If you haven’t read it yet, do so now. Actually, that is my whole review. But if you want don’t like being commanded to buy a book and want some reasons, here they are: The voice of the storyteller is masterful; the story is […]

Deepening the Colors

When I was a child, I loved the sight of the flax field in bloom, and wondered how the soft blue of the flowers could be only slightly different from the soft blue of the sky. I loved the softness of all of the colors of my Minnesota prairie. In spite of waiting in our […]

Future Wise

It’s a decision that is made every day, every hour, and every minute teachers are in the classroom as they answer the question, “What’s worth learning?” Teachers are constantly making value judgments and setting priorities as they engage a universe of information and knowledge, focusing on what they believe is most important for students in […]

Leaders of Their Own Learning

Entering the grade 5/6 classroom in New Covenant School in Arlington, Massachusetts, you need to look very closely to spot the teacher. Actually, you may find yourself wondering if the students even require their teacher. The desks are arranged in a circle, a student is at the whiteboard scripting student responses to student questions, while […]

Death Before the Fall

Ronald Osborne begins the book with a vivid account of his experience growing up as a child of missionary parents in Zimbabwe. He recalls family excursions by car into a wilderness, and coming upon a pride of lions that had just killed a Cape buffalo. Osborne never forgot the scene of “beautiful carnage,” which typifies […]

Nuts and Bolts of Inclusive Education

Newman, Barbara J. Nuts and Bolts of Inclusive Education. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Learning Center, 2013.  This book, published by Christian Learning Center, provides exactly what its title implies—practical guidelines and suggestions for implementing inclusive education in the Christian school. This book would be a great resource for Christian schools that are just entering the […]

The Cross and Gendercide

The good news of the gospel is never more jarring than when put alongside the raw facts of human suffering, yet that is precisely the place where it has the most to say. It is in this place of tension that Christian educators stand when facing students—somewhere between the cross and the unavoidable brokenness of […]

Teaching to Justice, Citizenship, and Civic Virtue

I have benefitted from the writing and teaching Calvin education professor emerita Gloria Stronks for many years. She has written a number of books that have helped articulate what those of us involved in Christian education have been doing and ought to be doing. Her book A Vision with a Task, written with Doug Blomberg […]

A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing: A Reading Lesson

“We will do anything to keep the wolves of insignificance from our door.” —Saul Bellow His name was Charlie. He was a fighter. He liked it, and he was good at it. But he never contended for a championship, unless you count the time he decked the reigning seventh-grade toughie, just outside of Mr. Clarke’s […]

Watching Cardinals, Tasting Words, and Savoring Slowness

“The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath.” These words, from The Merchant of Venice, still ring in my ears—though I have rarely encountered them since last I studied them in grade 12 English. Likewise, we never seem to forget hymns memorized as a […]

So Little Time for So Many Books: Or Hey Jan, Don’t Quit Your Day Job

For this column, we are going to take a break from the Bedlam gang and hear some books that columnist Jan Kaarsvlam is writing and is sure will influence your teaching. He would like to recommend that you buy and read copies of these books as soon as possible, as he isn’t sure he will […]