Here I Sit

Nov 5th, 2019 | Category: Here I sit
By Shirley Morgenthaler

A Potpourri of Perspectives on Learning and Teaching

In our last issue we focused on one topic from a variety of perspectives. In this issue we do the same, but our focus comes through the variety of topics, issues, and recommendations, all of them built around learning and teaching.

Learning and teaching are the least common denominator of our work and of our ministry. That learning and teaching may take place in a College of Business, such as Wanda Foster’s focus on teaching ethics to business students in a faith-based university. Does that faith base make a difference? Do business students studying at a faith-based university such as ours have an advantage in the business world for which they are preparing?

What impact does effective mentoring have on learning and teaching? Rebecca Stanton and Ann McKellar look at mentoring about-to-be teachers and first-year teachers. They propose that all mentoring include communication, modeling, and reflection. Ask yourself whether this perspective can make an impact on your professional practice, whether that be teaching, business, theater, church ministry, or any of a myriad professional applications.

Taking mentoring to a more specific level, Mary Zaharis discusses first-year teacher induction and multi-year mentoring. While her discussion is specific to education, it can be applied to a variety of fields. Consider whether your area of enterprise could benefit from Mary’s work.

Sandra Doering takes us on a different journey. Her study of Louisa May Alcott has begun with the discovery that Little Women was published in 1868, a mere four years after CUC was founded as Addison Lutheran Teacher’s Seminary. As amazing as the beginning of CUC is during the Civil War, Louisa May Alcott’s work may need to be considered as more amazing. Here is a woman, publishing under her real name, writing about four young women. Who would do that? Read Sandy’s article and find out.

Our next set of articles explore aspects of literacy and literacy development. Lauren Wellen and Edgar Ramos discuss the use of graphic novels to teach literacy. In my mind, the most amazing detail in that article is the revelation that Edgar Ramos has gone from being a struggling reader, a non-reader, a repeater of second grade to now being a member of the CUC faculty with a PsyD in counseling psychology! Jenna Nelson takes us into another area of literacy, that of the adolescent learner. She reminds us how critical it is to attend to the needs of teen learners as they deepen their understandings of, and skill in, reading and writing.

Finally, Art Safer, Mary Zaharis, Denise Glascow, Susan Mann, and Michele Gnan have collaborated on the issue of community engagement for families who are nurturing a child diagnosed with autism spectrum. Their discussion and recommendations for heightened community engagement with those children and their families gives us points to ponder for our respective communities. 

In her Ministry in the Classroom column, Kimberly Lavado discusses the need for all of us at Concordia University Chicago to be sensitive and responsive to the diversity in all of our classrooms. That diversity is often less visible than we can ascertain without careful analysis and interactions. Her column can give you criteria with which you can rate your own sensitivity to diversity.

Donna Knight gives us a thoughtful review of Tienkin’s Defying Standardization. I strongly suggest that you read both this review and the book it reviews. The standardization of the curriculum of schooling through national and state standards is a concern on the part of both leaders and teachers in our schools.

Amy Stradtmann gives us Words for Thought about our attention to what she calls “the easy stuff.” Her words give us thoughts on which to ponder and to use for a personal assessment. The easy stuff is easy to ignore.

Erik Ankerberg serves as our interim president for this issue because it is still a part of Volume 155. We appreciate his willingness to serve in this capacity during the hyphen between Dr. Gard and Dr. Dawn. It is a great professional dance to stand on that hyphen and keep CUC in working order. His hyphen dance has included the leadership of this journal and writing this Last Word column for us. Thank you, Erik. LEJ