On Christian Teaching

Practicing Faith in the Classroom

David I. Smith

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Paperback: 182 pages
Publisher: Eerdman’s Publishing
Publish Date: May 28, 2018
Language: English
ISBN-10: 080287360X
ISBN-13: 978-0802873606

“David Smith does it again! Here he accomplishes a rare feat—a book that is at the same time brilliantly insightful and extraordinarily practical. On Christian Teaching is a much-needed text that will inspire Christians who are teachers, Christians who care about teaching and learning, and all who want to see what ‘Christian teaching’ can be at its best.”

– L. Gregory Jones
Duke Divinity School

Christian teachers have long been thinking about what content to teach, but little scholarship has been devoted to how faith forms the actual process of teaching. Is there a way to go beyond Christian perspectives on the subject matter and think about the teaching itself as Christian? In this book David I. Smith shows how faith can and should play a critical role in shaping pedagogy and the learning experience.

Author

David I. Smith

David I. Smith is director of the Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning and professor of education at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and he serves as senior editor of the International Journal of Christianity and Education. His other books include Teaching and Christian Practices (with James K. A. Smith) and Teaching and Christian Imagination (with Susan Felch).

Content

Table of Contents

  • The Pedagogy Gap
  • The Whole Nine Minutes
  • Patterns That Matter
  • The Movement of the Soul
  • Motivated Design
  • See, Engage, Reshape
  • The Work of Imagination
  • Life Together
  • Designing Space and Time
  • Pedagogy and Community
  • The State of Christian Scholarship

Reviews

“Smith guides Christian educators in assessing the pedagogical home they create, an environment that forms students in particular practices and assumptions. He continually pushes readers to go beyond philosophy and content to wrestle with the implicit meanings their teaching practices may convey, privileging student perceptions of the classroom experience over the teacher’s intentions. From start to finish, Smith consistently grounds his book in the actual experiences of teaching.”

– Sarah Bixler
Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion 

“As I read this book I found myself thinking of all kinds of ways I could reimagine and reshape my own teaching. My summary notes on Smith’s argument are interrupted in various places with ideas to implement in particular classes.

This is a book that will inspire Christian teachers to recognise the theological and faith-forming power their classroom interactions hold. For those who have the privilege of teaching, whether in primary, secondary, or tertiary education, whether in explicitly Christian settings or in secular institutions, On Christian Teaching is a wonderful gift of insight, challenge, and practical help.”

– Michael F. Bird
Patheos

Endorsements

“David Smith does it again! Here he accomplishes a rare feat—a book that is at the same time brilliantly insightful and extraordinarily practical. On Christian Teaching is a much-needed text that will inspire Christians who are teachers, Christians who care about teaching and learning, and all who want to see what ‘Christian teaching’ can be at its best.”

– L. Gregory Jones
Duke Divinity School

“Once again David Smith takes us on a journey and exposes us to teaching vistas that few have contemplated. He subjects our ordinary teaching rituals to rigorous Christian critical analysis. Then he leads us to ponder anew what it might mean to love students and teach them to love. As a result, I found myself revising parts of my classes after reading most every chapter. David’s wisdom continually exposes one to pedagogical treasures that those of us with less-skilled eyes miss.”

– Perry L. Glanzer
Baylor University

“Thousands of Christian educators at conferences and in lectures across the world have been inspired by hearing David Smith share his vision for Christian pedagogy. This unique book makes that inspiration widely available to many others. A masterpiece in accessible scholarship for classroom teachers, On Christian Teaching has the potential to change everything.”

– Trevor Cooling
Canterbury Christ Church University

Resources

Articles & EssaysFaith and Teaching

Ending Well

It’s the last day of 2019, and perhaps a somewhat arbitrary ending is a good opportunity to think about other, perhaps weightier, kinds of endings. A few years ago, during a conversation with a colleague about how liturgy and pedagogy are related, it struck me…
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December 31, 2019