David Smith


Education

  • B.A. University of Oxford, UK (Honors)
  • P.G.C.E. University of Nottingham, UK
  • M. Phil. F. Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto, Canada
  • Ph.D. Institute of Education, University of London, UK
  • (Dissertation: Modern language pedagogy, spiritual development and Christian faith: A study of their interrelationships)

About/bio

A native of the United Kingdom, I have also studied in Canada and taught in Germany. Before moving to Calvin I worked as a researcher and teacher educator at the Stapleford Centre (www.stapleford-centre.org), a Christian educational institute in Nottingham, UK. There I was involved in an extensive curriculum project which produced, among other things, foreign language course materials designed to encourage the moral and spiritual development of learners. I have taught German, French and Russian in high schools in the UK, and served for a time on the executive committee of the Values Education Council of the United Kingdom. I currently serve as an editor of both the Journal of Education and Christian Belief and the Journal of Christianity and Foreign Languages.

Academic interests

  • Foreign language pedagogy, particularly in relation to moral and spiritual development and Christian philosophy of education.
  • The role of metaphor in Christian educational discourse.
  • The thought of John Amos Comenius, the 17th century educator.
  • Elementary and intermediate German language
  • German literature of the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Foreign language methodology
  • German Interim Abroad
Graduate Studies in Education

David Smith has an international reputation as a thinker and practitioner at the intersection of faith and teaching. He began his career teaching French, German, and Russian in public secondary schools in the United Kingdom, where he became fascinated by the question of how our beliefs, values, and commitments can shape and guide our approaches to teaching and learning. After graduate work in philosophical theology, philosophy of education, and curriculum studies he moved to Calvin College, where he has received the College’s Award for Innovative Teaching. He is the founding Director of the Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning and Director of Graduate Studies in Education. He also serves as the Senior Editor of the Journal of Education and Christian Belief.

His original questions – how does my identity as a Christian affect how I teach? What other values and convictions are implicitly embedded in our actions as teachers? – have continued to guide his work. He has spent more than two decades exploring the implications of rethinking the language classroom in terms of hospitality to strangers and investigating the wider relationship between pedagogy and spiritual and moral formation. In recent years he has traveled widely as a speaker and consultant to schools, universities, and conferences in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. Various of his writings are widely used in teacher education and faculty development contexts, including most recently his co-edited volume on Teaching and Christian Practices and the extensive online resources developed at www.whatiflearning.com.

Courses taught

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Selected publications

Book Sections
  • ‘Bible, Relationship of Education to the,’ in George T. Kurkurian and Mark M. Lamport (eds) Encyclopedia of Christian Education 3 vols. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, (2015): 142-143.

  • ‘Canonical Criticism, Educational Model of,’ in George T. Kurkurian and Mark M. Lamport (eds) Encyclopedia of Christian Education 3 vols. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, (2015): 186-187.

  • ‘Christian Practice and Christian Education,’ in George T. Kurkurian and Mark M. Lamport (eds) Encyclopedia of Christian Education 3 vols. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, (2015): 1483-1486.

  • ‘Comenius, Educational Ideas of,’ in George T. Kurkurian and Mark M. Lamport (eds) Encyclopedia of Christian Education 3 vols. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, (2015): 313-315.

  • ‘Hospitality as Christian Practice,’ in George T. Kurkurian and Mark M. Lamport (eds) Encyclopedia of Christian Education 3 vols. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, (2015): 606-607.

  • ‘Metaphors for Learning,’ in George T. Kurkurian and Mark M. Lamport (eds) Encyclopedia of Christian Education 3 vols. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, (2015): 799-800.

  • ‘Practices as Pedagogy,’ in George T. Kurkurian and Mark M. Lamport (eds) Encyclopedia of Christian Education 3 vols. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, (2015): 975-976.

  • ‘Reading as Christian Practice,’ in George T. Kurkurian and Mark M. Lamport (eds) Encyclopedia of Christian Education 3 vols. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, (2015): 1027-1029.
Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals
  • ‘Teaching is Breaking Bread: Biblical Metaphor, Educational Vision, and Bernard’s Evocation of Learning’, Journal of Christian Education 55:1, May 2012/2013, 29-36.

  • ‘The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in A Christian Context,’ (with Joonyong Um & Claudia D. Beversluis) Christian Higher Education, 13:1, 2014, 74-87.

  • ‘Using music and image to raise spiritual and moral questions in the foreign language classroom: Exploring the Söhne Mannheims,’ (with H. De Vries Jr. & F. C. Roberts), Journal of Education and Christian Belief 15(2), 2011, 163-166.

  • ‘Hospitality, Language Pedagogy, and Communities of Practice,’ Journal of Christianity and Foreign Languages 12, 2011, 29-44.

  • ‘On Viewing Learners as Spiritual Beings: Implications for Language Educators’, Journal of Christianity and Foreign Languages 9, 2008, 34-48.
Reviews and Other Articles
  • IJCE and Scholarship on Christianity and Education. International Journal of Christianity and Education 19(1): 2-12. http://ijce.sagepub.com

  • Theology and Pedagogy: A Response to Sean Whittle. Journal of Education and Christian Belief 18(2): 207-16.

  • 'Resisting Homework as Solitary Confinement,' Christian Teachers Journal 22:4, 2014, 14-17.

  • ‘Why learn languages? A call to Christian educational leaders (with L. Scott & T. Van Til Rusthoven), Journal of Christianity and Foreign Languages, 12, 2011, 67-78.

  • ‘The School, The Wilderness, and the Garden of Delight’, Christian Teachers Journal 16:2, May 2008, 4-7.

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Professional associations

He is a current NACFLA member.

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