Teachers and Faith

The article which I choose to read was Teachers and Faith written by Jonathan Eckert (2011). This article interested me because faith is a very important aspect of my life and I felt like I would relate well with this article. The primary focus of the article was on the issue of public schools being an appropriate place for “teachers of faith who respect the legal and ethical boundaries of this open forum” (Eckert, 2011, p.23). The article supports the claim of a teacher’s faith being important in public schools. This is because good teaching comes from identity and integrity, and teachers are responsible for teaching knowledge, skills, and developing character (Eckert, 2011). Many times resulting from one’s faith is the identity and integrity seen with teachers. Eckert (2011) demonstrates this claim with four examples of faith impacting the way people teach. The examples demonstrate passion and commitment derived from beliefs, not serving out of obligation or recognition but because of a calling (Eckert, 2011). Additionally, Eckert (2011) emphasizes that faith does not necessarily mean a strong teacher, however the calling to teach can be a powerful influence upon teachers. Ultimately the articles main focus is on the issue of faith being an important aspect in teaching even in public schools.

Eckert (2011) suggest many implications between the article topic of faith and teaching and learning. Teaching is of both intellectual and moral practice. Effective teaching expands students’ knowledge, insights, and interests in order to deepen their way of thinking and feeling (Eckert, 2011). This will allow teachers and students to pursue knowledge and truth, therefore replacing misconceptions with understandings. For this to be achieved teachers must move beyond informational transaction of content (Eckert, 2011). Furthermore, Eckert (2011) states that perseverance, diligence, and courage are all dispositions that are ultimately derived from faith. These implications can relate to the four dimensions of character: intellectual, moral, civic, and performance (Eckert, 2011) where faith is positively affecting each. As for aspects relating with students – Eckert (2011) notes that public schools must be a place where religion and religious convictions are to be treated with fairness and respect. This is especially important in creating a safe learning environment where students feel comfortable.  These implications are the focal point of Eckert’s (2011) article on teachers and faith in regards with teaching and learning.

Eckert, J. (2011). Teachers and faith. Kappan, 94(4), 20-23.

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