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On Christian Teaching: Practicing Faith in the Classroom

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  87 ratings  ·  13 reviews
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 shapin ...more
Paperback, 182 pages
Published May 28th 2018 by Eerdmans
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Joshua Novalis
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Simply put, one of the greatest books I’ve read on the subject of Christian Teaching, and well worth the time and attention of any Christian educator at any level of instruction.

Smith articulates a vision of Christian teaching that finds its inspiration in the actual pedagogy that animates the classroom, not simply in worldview approaches(which are often woefully insufficient) or discussions of Christian character(which are important, but only a small part of the picture). Smith’s brilliance lie
Jul 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith-teaching
Readable, concise, thoughtful, and provocative. Even if some of Smith's ideas aren't radically new, he gives voice to some of the things I've felt and learned intuitively over the past nine years of teaching. Smith is explicit about how he hopes his book can help us begin to reshape our imagination when it comes to the integration of faith and teaching. His arguments, examples, reflection questions, and journal prompts do this spectacularly. I already have plans to read this with with a group of ...more
Aug 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Raises some really thought provoking questions about pedagogy, many of which are left unanswered or open-ended. I will admit I was hoping for more “technique” but was glad he resisted formulas and suggestions, and agreed with his thoughtful decision to make this book a prompt towards reflection. I do think this book would be immensely improved by reading it in community with like-minded educators who could help illuminate and expand his suggestions through their own practice.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
I came by this book through Mars Hill Audio. It interested me, because I have never read a book on practicing faith through pedagogy. Many Christians believe they can only practice faith while discussing worldviews and controversial topics. David I. Smith instead focuses on how to practice faith through pedagogy - the method of teaching, which is much more than just standing up front and teaching the alphabet. He talks about several ways one can practice faith on a daily basis, regardless of the ...more
Matthew Richey
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would recommend this book to Christian teachers as a way of kickstarting your imagination for how one should approach how we teach (not just what) Christianly.
Phillip Nash
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Once again David Smith sets out in clear and practical terms a challenge to us as Christian educators to do it better. His examples are very helpful and coming form his own experience add weight to what he is saying. This is a relatively untouched area in Christian schooling and although he is aiming more at University than K- 12 schooling - it is just as applicable. An excellent book for all Christian teachers and administrators who want to really know their Christian teaching is hitting the ma ...more
Carisa Ash
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: higher-education
Smith tackles the question of faith and teaching. He rightfully observes that works on faith and learning integration jump to content and ignore teaching methodologies. So, Smith demonstrates the need for this work and then helps the reader explore what it may mean to teach in theological faithful ways.
Tommy Kiedis
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What does it means to "teach Christianly"?

Calvin University professor of education, David I. Smith, shifts "faith and learning" from content to pedagogy in On Christian Teaching: Practicing Faith in the Classroom. I am glad he did. My perspective needed this whack on the side of the head.

Smith contends the institutional history of Christian higher education has been mapped, contested, and refined. Similarly, "faith and learning" has garnered significant attention. Pedagogy, not so much! This de
Timothy Allan
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Is was really impressed with this book at the start. It asks really important questions, and places unsatisfactory answers in appropriate categories without dismissing them. I really appreciated the framing of wisdom, and the idea that there isn't a single Biblically-mandated way to teach some content, but that it's still worth asking because there's so much worth thinking about. The book used very perceptive examples from a range of contexts. I guess ultimately I was disappointed with the frami ...more
Candace Brown
Jul 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I underlined too much of this book to pick just one quote. Just know that the teaching questions of “how does this all apply to tomorrow’s class?” at least get partially addressed in this introduction to the conversation around what it really means to teach as a “little Christ.”
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mostly great; sometimes repetitive. I could have done without the last chapter. It wasn't bad; I'm just not the intended audience for that conversation.
I will return to this volume for encouragement and ideas on how to put my faith into my pedagogical practices.
Penny Clawson
Aug 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow...this is an excellent presentation of what I do and what I teach!!
Audrey Smith
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent as always. I will read anything Smith writes.
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I started out as a secondary school foreign language teacher in England. I quickly became intrigued by the ways in which implicit beliefs and values shaped the materials and ways of teaching that I experienced in classrooms. That theme has become my career-long research project. Most of my books have something to do with how faith gets expressed in classrooms. I now direct a research institute foc ...more

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