David I. Smith


David Smith

Education

  • BA University of Oxford, UK (Honors)
  • PGCE University of Nottingham, UK
  • MPhilF Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto, Canada
  • PhD Institute of Education, University of London, UK
  • (Dissertation: Modern language pedagogy, spiritual development and Christian faith: A study of their interrelationships)

Biography

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, 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 senior editor of the International Journal of Christianity and Education.

Academic interests

  • Christianity and education in both P-12 and higher education.
  • The relationship between Christian practices and pedagogical practices.
  • The role of theologically informed metaphors in education.
  • Foreign language pedagogy, particularly in relation to moral and spiritual development and Christian philosophy of education.
  • The thought of John Amos Comenius, the 17th century educator.

Graduate Studies in Education

Professor 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 inaugural coordinator of the Institute for Global Faculty Development at Calvin College. He also serves as Editor of the International Journal of Christianity and Education.

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 almost three 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. His more recent work has focused on faith and pedagogy more broadly. 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 Teaching and Christian Imagination, On Christian Teaching and the extensive online resources developed at www.whatiflearning.com and www.teachfastly.com. His work can be followed at www.onchristianteaching.com.

Publications

Book Sections

  • ‘“It would be good to have a Paradise.” Comenius on Learners Past and Present.’ Forthcoming in Jan Hábl (Ed.), Comenius’s Project of Restoration of Human Affairs: Utopianism or Realism?, Czech edition: Pavel Mervart Publ., Červený Kostelec; English edition: Culture and Science Publ., Bonn, 2020.
  • ‘Just in Time: Some Reflections on Wait Time and “Knowing When.”’ Forthcoming in a Festschrift to be published by Wipf and Stock, in the ICS Currents in Reformational Thought series, 2019.
  • ‘“Religious Faith” and “Pedagogical Practice”: Extending the Map. A Response to Brown, Sharma and Vandrick.’ In Mary Shepard Wong & Ahmar Mahboob (eds.) Spirituality and English Language Teaching: Religious Explorations of Teacher Identity, Pedagogy and Context. Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 2018, 119-127.
  • ‘Vocation, Stewardship, and Teaching: A Hopeful Response.’ In T. Laine Scales and Jennifer L. Howell (eds.), Christian Faith and University Life: Stewards of the Academy. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave MacMillan, 2017, 269-280.
  • ‘John Amos Comenius: Teaching All Things to All People,’ (with J. Dudley), in Elmer Towns and Benjamin Forrest (eds.) A Legacy of Religious Educators: Historical and Theological Introductions. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty University Press, 2017, 205-223.
  • ‘“Religious faith” and “pedagogical practice” – Extending the Map. A Response to Brown, Sharma and Vandrick,’ in: Mary Shepard Wong and Ahmar Mahboob (eds), Spirituality & Language Teaching: Religious Explorations of Teacher Identity, Pedagogy, Context, and Content. London: Routledge, 2017.
  • ‘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

  • ‘Patterns of Practice and Webs of Belief in the Language Classroom,’ in Journal of Christianity and World Languages 17 (2016), 7-24.
  • ‘IJCE and Scholarship on Christianity and Education,’ (with Trevor Cooling) in International Journal of Christianity and Education 19:1 (2015), 2-12.
  • ‘The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in A Christian Context,’ (with Joonyong Um & Claudia D. Beversluis) Christian Higher Education, 13:1, 2014, 74-87.
  • ‘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.
  • ‘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.
  • 'Religious Faith' and 'Pedagogical Practice: Extending the Map. A Response to Brown, Sharma and Vandrick. In Mary Shepard Wong & Ahmar Mahboob (eds.) Spirituality and English Language Teaching: Religious Explorations of Teacher Identity, Pedagogy and Context,pp. 119-127. Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 2018.
  • ‘The history of theological education: An extended review.’ Christian Scholars Review XLVII(1), 2017, 51-57.
  • ‘Shadowing Students During Learning: Response,’ Christian Teachers Journal 24:1 (2015): 15.
  • ‘Resisting Homework as Solitary Confinement,’ Christian Educators Journal (2015).
  • '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.

Presentations

  • “Assessing Christian Learners” lecture, Global Christian School Leadership Summit, San Antonio, TX, January 31, 2019.
  • Invited panel presentation, ‘Extending the Dialogue Across Teachers of Multiple Faiths,’ TESOL 2018, Chicago, IL, March 29, 2018.
  • Plenary presentation, ‘Education, Imagination, and Christian Practices,’ IAPCHE All Africa Conference, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa, November 8, 2018.
  • Plenary presentation, ‘Faith, Formation, and Practices: Pedagogical Questions,’ at a conference on 'Education, Formation and the Church,' Theological University of Kampen, Kampen, Netherlands. August 30, 2018.
  • ‘Discernment, Technology, and Teaching: Tracing a School’s Deliberations,’ Kuyers Institute conference on Christian Teaching and Learning: Pathways and Possibilities, Grand Rapids, MI, October 5-7, 2017.
  • Public lecture, ‘A world in pictures: What our textbooks tell us about ourselves.’ Calvin College Education Program Forum. Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI. September 28, 2017.
  • The Clark Lecture, ‘The World We Think We Live In: Schooling and Christian Imagination,’ Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney, Australia, August 17, 2017.
  • ‘Theological Imagination and Pedagogical Practice,’ NetVUE Conference on ‘Renewing the Theological Exploration of Vocation,’ Sheraton Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina. March 23-25, 2017.
  • The Wheatley Forum Lecture, ‘Faith, Practices, and Vocation: The Life of a Christian Scholar/Teacher,’ Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. March 1, 2017.
  • Plenary presentation, ‘Charity, Humility, Justice: Learning to Read and Inviting Virtue,’ Humanities Symposium, Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, PA, February 23, 2017.
  • ‘Teach FASTly,’ Global Christian School Leadership Summit, Rosen Centre Hotel, Orlando, Florida. February 2, 2017.
  • Strand plenary, ‘Practices, Pedagogy, and Life Together.’ Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, October 29, 2016.
  • ‘Bending Technology for Relevant and Rooted Classroom Practices: Research Findings from a Christian School with One-to-One Technology,’ CEA Convention. South Bend Century Center, South Bend, Indiana. October 20, 2016.
  • ‘Teach FASTly: Faith and Science Teaching in the science and Bible classrooms,’ CEA Convention. South Bend Century Center, South Bend, Indiana, October 20, 2016.
  • ‘Relevant AND Rooted? Research Findings from a Christian School with One-to-One Technology,’ CEA Convention, South Bend Century Center, South Bend, Indiana, October 20, 2016.
  • The Gration Lecture, ‘Christians and Cultural Difference,’ Wheaton College, Chicago, IL, September 29 2016.
  • Plenary presentation at Symposion on Het profiel van de christelijke leraar, Driestar Educatief, Gouda, the Netherlands, January 26, 2016.

Professional Services

  • 2015 – Present: Senior Editor, International Journal of Christianity and Education.
  • 2013 – 2016: Visiting Professor, Faculty of Education, Canterbury Christchurch University, Canterbury, UK.
  • www.teachfastly.com – Lead designer and co-author of an extensive online resource for Christian science and religion educators.
  • www.whatiflearning.com – Co-author of an extensive online resource for Christian educators.

In the news

Christians and Cultural Difference

Extending hospitality and becoming peacemakers

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