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2011 Seminars

Reflective Pedagogy and Christian Practices
June 20 - July 1, 2011

Directed by Dr. David I. Smith (Calvin College)

Funding provided by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship & the Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning

Seminar Description

Much existing discussion of Christian higher education has focused on the context and practice of Christian scholarship. Examination of the pedagogical processes by which students are formed in Christian educational settings has been comparatively neglected. At the same time, Christian schools, colleges, and seminaries commonly express a holistic concern with the moral and spiritual formation of students. Devotional practices designed to foster growth in the life of faith (for instance chapels, devotions, etc.) may exist only in parallel with academic pedagogical practice, with little coherent interrogation of the formative processes at work in learning settings. This seminar will explore how recent work in various disciplines illuminates the nature of teaching as a practice, and in particular what it might mean to approach teaching in an educational setting as a Christian practice. Participants will study and discuss recent writing in philosophy, sociology, education theory, and theology dealing with the nature of social practices and of Christian practices. We will be seeking to understand how this work can inform the design of teaching and learning in such a way that connections between classroom teaching and Christian formation are clarified.

About the Director

David Smith directs the Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning, a research institute at Calvin College that focuses on the relationship between faith and pedagogy. He also serves as Senior Editor of the Journal of Education and Christian Belief. He travels widely, both nationally and internationally, working with Christian educators on questions surrounding the project of Christian teaching and learning, and has also published extensively on the topic. His recent books include Learning from the Stranger: Christian Faith and Cultural Diversity (Eerdmans, 2009) and Spirituality, Social Justice, and Language Learning (with Terry Osborn, Information Age, 2007).

Guest Speakers

Jamie K.A. Smith is Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College where he also teaches in the Department of Congregational and Ministry Studies and serves as a Research Fellow for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Trained in phenomenology and philosophical theology, Smith's most recent work has focused on cultural criticism, philosophy & liturgy, and philosophy of the social sciences. He is the author and editor of a number of books, including Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (Baker Academic, 2009) and Thinking in Tongues: Pentecostal Contributions to Christian Philosophy (Eerdmans, 2010). His more popular writing has appeared in magazines such as Christian Century, First Things, Christianity Today, and the Harvard Divinity Bulletin. He also serves as Executive Director of the Society of Christian Philosophers and is editor of the "Church and Postmodern Culture" series for Baker Academic.

Application Information

Applicant Information, including who may apply and how to apply can be found here. The application deadline was January 24, 2011. We are no longer accepting applications.

2011 Seminars Index

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