9 March 2021

The Observant Participant: Applying Research Craft to Professional Practice

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” (Simone Weil)

“Attention, taken to its highest degree, is the same thing as prayer. It presupposes faith and love.” (Simone Weil) 


How do I avoid becoming the proverbial practitioner who, instead of earning ten years of experience, repeats one year of experience ten times over? How do I make sense of my own experience as a practitioner and how do I learn from my experience? How do I learn from the experience of other practitioners? How do I give attention to what matters most? 


In this course we will consider these kinds of questions. We will draw on the critical reflective practices of other practitioners, we will equip ourselves with the methodological tools of qualitative researchers, and we will cultivate an attitude of attentiveness informed by the approach to practice taken by phenomenologists—becoming philosophically skilful students of our own lived human experience. Doing this course together, we will become more observant participants in our lifeworlds and strengthen our capacity as reflective practitioners in our professions and in our scholarship. 


While the focus of this course is on applying research craft to professional practice, the course is also an introduction to graduate level qualitative research and to key perspectives from phenomenological philosophy. 



Dr. Gideon Strauss

ICS 132501 / 232501 F21

Blended (Online Asynchronous/Synchronous)

(MA-EL, MWS)


Syllabus


*NOTE: Approved for Area 2 of the CSTC

How to Coach a Strong Team: Leading People, Building Instructional Capacity, and Securing Accountability

How to Coach a Strong Team is a course for new and aspiring principals. The course provides frameworks and tools for setting directions, building relationships, developing people, developing a school culture and structures to support desired practices, and securing accountability.

The course starts with attention to the character of the leader. It continues with an exploration of the processes necessary to gain competency in the cultivation of vision, the nurture of trust, the leading of change, the building of teams, professional coaching, and the supervision of professional development. It concludes with hiring practices, handling conflict, and terminations of service.


Dr. Gideon Strauss
ICS 260005 F21
Blended (Online Asynchronous/Synchronous)

(MA-EL)


Syllabus

Deeper Learning: From Wonder to Inquiry to Action

Deeper Learning is a course for instructional leaders. It explores learning as a journey from wonder to inquiry to action. This course seeks to help Christian educators develop Deeper Learning within the context of:  

    1. A celebration of the learner - What it means to be created in God’s image? 

    2. A mindfulness towards learning design - How does curriculum, instruction and assessment inspire us to live out our lives as Kingdom Ambassadors who are intentional about character formation and loving our neighbours?  

    3. A responsiveness to culture - How do we embody our mission in every aspect of school life and live it out in God’s world?

(Source: Deeper Learning in Christian Schools: Playing our Part in God’s Story; cace.org) 


ICSD 260004 W21*
Dr. Edith van der Boom
Blended (Online Asynchronous/Synchronous)

(MA-EL)

Syllabus


*NOTE: Approved for Area 3 of the CSTC

Biblical Foundations

How can we read and experience the Scriptures as the Word of Life in the midst of an Academy that believes the biblical witness will restrict human freedom and thwart our maturity? How may we pursue biblical wisdom as we “re-think the world” when our Christian traditions seem convinced that biblical truth may be disconnected from—or simply applied to—the most pressing and perplexing issues of our time? 

This course will explore the Bible—from Genesis to Revelation—as the ongoing story of and for God and all God’s creatures, paying special attention to the way in which humanity’s attempt to find its way is interwoven with the story of the Divine presence and with the wisdom and promise of creation-new creation. In asking whether and how the biblical story may find its future in our ongoing narratives, we will attempt to identify which hermeneutical methods and sensitivities might help us discern its significance for present day life, including the academic enterprise. 

If Jesus is the Living Word at the heart of Scripture, does that change our understanding of where biblical truth is coming from and where it is going? Does the Bible have an implicit, sapiential pedagogy that we have misconstrued? Can the familiar Reformed themes of creation and covenant, election and eschaton speak to us in new, reformational ways? These are some of the questions we shall explore together as we reintroduce ourselves to the biblical writings.


Dr. Nik Ansell
ICS 1108AC / 2108AC F20
ICB2010HF L0101*
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Course Dates TBD

(MWS, MA, MA-EL, PhD)


Syllabus


*Attention TST students: you have to contact the ICS Registrar to complete your registration.


**NOTE: Approved for Area 1 of the CSTC

Cultivating Learning Communities of Grace

Cultivating Learning Communities of Grace is a course for instructional leaders and school administrators in the consideration of both school and classroom cultures. Course content will include attention to diversity, cultural complexity and increasingly blurred markers of origin and ethnicity, racial justice, and restorative practices. 

This course seeks to help students find clarity in answers to the following questions:

 

  • How do we awaken in our students’ knowledge, creativity, and critical reflective capacities in our schools and classrooms?

  • How do racism and other forms of oppression underlie achievement gaps and alienation within our schools?

  • How can classroom learning be linked to larger movements seeking to effect change in community?/How can school culture be a vehicle for social change?

  • How do we cultivate learning communities of grace in our schools?

  • What is the relationship between the daily behaviour of educational leaders and the cultures of schools?



Dr. Edith van der Boom
ICS 260008 F21
Blended (Online Asynchronous/Synchronous)

(MA-EL)


Syllabus


*NOTE: Approved for Area 2 or Area 3 of the CSTC

**Subject to ICS Senate approval

Leadership in Context (Reformational Philosophy Applied)

This course will present an understanding of schooling in terms of the Reformational tradition in philosophy. It will present a Reformational reading of and orientation to the modern world in which schooling presently takes place. In the process it will examine schooling and leadership within classrooms and schools in terms of key distinctions to be kept in mind when examining that world. In other words, schooling and leadership within schooling will be placed within today’s complex social and cultural environment. That human environment will in turn be placed within a cosmos wide perspective. From this perspective the cosmos itself finds itself within the covenant by which creatures partner in love with the God who creates, upholds, and redeems the creation in the intricate dance of meaningful existence. Schooling will thereby manifest a distinct identity as an elemental building block of our contemporary socio-cultural arrangements. Its identity will relate to other societal institutions and practices to which it is connected by countless ties.


Dr. Bob Sweetman
ICS 1107AC / 2107AC S21
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Intensive, August 16 - 20, 2021

(MA-EL, MWS)


Syllabus


*NOTE: Approved for Area 2 of the CSTC

Lead From Where You Are: Making a Difference in the Face of Tough Problems, Big Questions, and Organizational Politics

Leadership is not about personality, authority, position, influence, or power as such. Leadership is an art, a craft, a practice, to which everyone is called sometime or other, in widely different situations. Leadership can be practiced with varying degrees of authority, from any position, at varying scales of influence, and with varying access to different sources of power.

The kind of leadership that we will learn and practice in this course has to do with diagnosing and addressing the toughest problems experienced by organizations, communities, institutions, and societies. This kind of leadership demands political skill: the skill to discern the overt and covert concerns and interests, agendas, and alliances within the organizations, institutions, and societies we serve, and to give each their due while not failing to pursue the common good.

We will learn a leadership language, try out a set of tools and frameworks, and workshop our fresh insights and skills.


Dr. Gideon Strauss
ICS 260003 S21
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Intensive, August 16 - 20, 2021

(MA-EL, MWS)


Syllabus


*NOTE: Approved for Area 2 or Area 4 of the CSTC

Transforming the World: The Role of a Christian Educator

Transforming the World is a course for instructional leaders as they consider their roles as Christian educators. We will consider our context as Christians as we are called to be transformers of society and culture by seeking justice and righteousness for those who are marginalized and disenfranchised. In this course we will consider constructivism, a dominant educational theory in the twenty-first century that informs student-centred pedagogies such as Project Based Learning, through the lens of Scripture and investigate the assumptions that it makes. We will explore our calling as Christian educators to transform culture in our schools, local community, and the world. 

This course seeks to help Christian educators find clarity in answers to the following questions: 

  • Context: Who am I called to be as a Christian educator in my particular place and time?

  • Constructivism: How does constructivism inform my practice?

  • Culture: What role does education play in creating culture?


This version of the course will consist of:

1. Reading To Know as We Are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey and 5 articles as specified in the Google classroom prior to August 3;

2. Participation in five 3-hour Zoom sessions during August 9-13;

3. Assigned reading and online discussions throughout the month of August; and

4. A project that demonstrates ones learning from the course.



Dr. Edith van der Boom
ICS 260006 S21
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Intensive, August 9 - 13, 2021

(MA-EL)



*NOTE: Approved for Area 2 of the CSTC

Finding Joy in Learning

Finding Joy in Learning is a course that will inspire and support K-12 educators in their own personal journey of learning. Educators will gain an introductory understanding of how people make sense of their lives, find their way in the world, and contribute to the cultures in which they participate, and in particular, to become critically familiar with the notions of world-viewing, practice, and culture-making. The course will provide educators with a vocational vision of Christian educational innovation and leadership. It is intended to guide educators on an inner journey as they begin cultivating personal competency in critical and constructive reflection on your professional practice.


This version of the course will consist of:

  • Reading The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life by Parker Palmer prior to our first Zoom session on August 3

  • Three 3-hour Zoom sessions (August 3 - 5, 2021)

  • A project that demonstrates the ones learning in this course

  • Assigned reading and online discussions

  • An individual mentoring session with the instructor



Dr. Edith van der Boom
ICS 260001 S21
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Intensive, August 3 - 5, 2021

(MA-EL)




*NOTE: Approved for Area 4 of the CSTC