Confessions of a Poor Reader

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For most, reading is a pleasurable skill that is acquired almost imperceptibly. I’ve heard it’s like waking up one morning suddenly knowing how to make sense of the jumble of letters on a page, almost effortlessly, without even having to move your lips. At least that’s what I’ve heard. It’s not like that for me. […]

Reading Suggestions for Teachers and Their Students

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In keeping with the theme of this month’s issue, John Walcott asked the panel members to recommend some of their favorite books for Christian educators or for their students.   Justin Cook submitted the following recommendations for teachers: An Ethic of Excellence, by Ron Berger (2003). Ron Berger is a master teacher in the expeditionary […]

Evolving in Monkey Town

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Evans, Rachel Held. Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned the Ask the Questions. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010. Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans is a book that is a joy to read. The book feels more like a conversation at a coffee shop with a […]

Beauty in the Word

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This century hosts one of the first generations—according to the late Arnold Toynbee—that does not deliberately teach morality and ethics to children in school. Caldecott’s book provides a past, present, and future view of the importance of educational foundations. In the process of examining what is relevant in an age when educational and relational flourishing […]

Shaping a Digital World

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Shaping a Digital World

  I will admit that I initially did not intend to read the book Shaping a Digital World: Faith, Culture, and Computer Technology. From my various roles at my school, I thought had a solid grasp on this topic—how our technology shapes us and our faith, and how we, in turn, shape technology. However, I […]

If Truth Be Known

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If Truth Be Known

  Christians have responded to the theory of evolution in a multitude of ways. Some saw conflict between the scriptures and the theory. Others tried to make peace (“concordism”), either by inserting a long time period between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 (the so-called gap theory), or by suggesting that the days of creation were very […]

Redefining Fair

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Redefining Fair

  In my twenty-five years of teaching, I have learned a few things about students: their natural ability is not a substitute for grit; for all their bravado, they are still kids and need adults who care about them; and they will rally together if teachers don’t treat them fairly. I’ve also come to see […]

Foreign Languages for Everyone

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As a teacher in training at Calvin College in 2004, I had the opportunity to work as a tutor for the French department. I spent time working for Professor Irene Konyndyk, tutoring students for a new class she was developing called “Multisensory French.” The idea is intriguing: find students who traditionally struggle with learning a […]