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

Faith in Art: Spirituality and Lived Experience

This course explores the various ways in which art and faith can intersect by comparing two important strands within theological aesthetics, the first focusing on art as a bridge to the spiritual and transcendence, the other on the way art articulates human lived experience. Students will explore what different traditions can learn from each other with a view towards developing a better understanding of the nature of art and the role of faith in religious and non-religious artistic practices.


Dr. Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin
ICS 131201/2
31201 S21
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Intensive, June 15 - July 22, 2021
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1pm - 3pm EDT

(MWS, MA, PhD)


Syllabus


*Attention TST students: if you are interested in taking this course for credit, you must petition your college of registration to count the course credit toward your degree program.

Fashion Theology

What is fashion? By what logic does it operate? And how does it shape our lives? Moreover, how does Christianity relate to fashion? This seminar is for anyone who has suspected there is more behind fashion than meets the eye. The first graduate seminar of its kind, participants will serve as fellow pioneers in the emerging field of fashion theology—that is, the fascinating ways theology intersects with fashion’s social, aesthetic, linguistic, performative, narrative, ethical, etc., elements. In doing so, participants not only gain essential tools for thinking theologically about fashion, but indeed, about any number of cultural practices that compose our everyday lives.


Dr. Robert Covolo
ICS 1532SC / 2532SC S21
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Intensive, May 26 - June 8, 2021
Weekdays, 1pm - 3pm EDT

(MWS, MA, PhD)


Syllabus


*Attention TST students: if you are interested in taking this course for credit, you must petition your college of registration to count the course credit toward your degree program.

The Soul of Soulless Conditions: Marxists on Christianity, Christians on Marxism

Although Marxists and Christians have found plenty of reasons to be mutually suspicious, prominent voices in both historical communities explored creative ways of relating to one another, politically and ideologically, throughout the 20th century and beyond. Through dialogical exchanges, party documents, and theological reflection, important questions were raised, if not always solved. Were the first Christians communists? What do Moscow and Havana have to do with Rome and Nazareth? Does materialism disqualify Christians from Marxist analysis? Can Marxist political parties accommodate Christian believers, and how far can Christians go in participating in Marxist revolutions?

Over the course of thirteen classes, we will read several Marxists on Christianity (e.g. Lenin, Luxemburg, Castro, Horkheimer) and several Christians on Marxism (e.g. McCabe, Soelle, Cone, Zuidervaart) to better understand where these communities found points of agreement and disagreement. Because neither Marxism nor Christianity are entirely unified traditions of thought, the selection of authors will aim to represent at least some of this diversity, although privileging voices that made an effort to bring these two discourses closer together in some way. Reading these traditions together, we will try to uncover how Christianity contributes to the soul of soulless conditions, and also what it might mean to embody that soul in the flesh of political organization.


Dean Dettloff
ICS 132902 S21
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Intensive, April 20 - May 27, 2021
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 7pm - 9pm EDT

(MWS)



*Attention TST students: if you are interested in taking this course for credit, you must petition your college of registration to count the course credit toward your degree program.

Pragmatism, Race, and Religion: Du Bois, West, and Glaude

This course will explore the work of key Black thinkers in the philosophical tradition of American Pragmatism, paying particular attention to the unique way their reflection upon racialized experience shapes and augments key themes within this thought tradition. How might the strain of tragedy and absurdity sounded by Black pragmatists inflect the sense of meliorism and hope for which American Pragmatism is well known? In pursuing this question, the course will pay particular attention to the differing religious pasts of white and black America and ponder these thinkers' understanding of the relevance and complicatedness of Black religious experience in our racially divided era.


Dr. Ron Kuipers
ICS 120501 / 220501 S21
ICT3771HS / ICT6771HS L0101*
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Intensive, June 8 - July 15, 2021
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10am - 12pm EDT

(MWS, MA, PhD)




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

5 January 2021

Transforming the World: The Role of a Christian Educator

Transforming the World is a course for instructional leaders as they consider their role as a Christian educator. 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?  

ICSD 260006 W21*
Dr. Edith van der Boom
Blended (Online Asynchronous/Synchronous)

(MA-EL)

Syllabus


*NOTE: Approved for Area 2 of the CSTC

How to Finance a Vision: Setting Direction and Managing Change within Financial Limitations

How to Finance a Vision is a course for new and aspiring principals and leadership teams. The course provides frameworks and tools for leadership in making the connections between the vision of a school, the budgeting process, and fundraising. 

The course starts with an introduction to Henri Nouwen’s spirituality of fundraising. It continues with an introduction to the basic financial documents that a principal should be able to read and to the Canadian Revenue Agency documents relevant to schools. It explores the art of communicating the story told by school budgets as a necessary element of fundraising. It concludes with the processes necessary to gain competency in working with both school boards and staffs (with an emphasis on financial and advancement staff) on the financial aspects of school management.

How to Finance a Vision is a remote learning course consisting of three synchronous discussions and three virtual school visits using online video and thirteen weeks of asynchronous online interaction. 


ICSD 260007 W21
Dr. Gideon Strauss
Blended (Online Asynchronous/Synchronous)

(MA-EL)

Syllabus

God/Sex/Word/Flesh: Gender, Theology, and the Body

How is our agenda for theology related to our gender? Is “God” a male word? Is the “Word made Flesh” a male God? Does the experience of women change how God is (made) known? Is sexuality—are sexualities—embraced by the resurrection? Attentive to the work of feminist theologians, biblical scholars, and philosophers, we will attempt to develop an “embodied” theology open to the biblical vision that God will be “all in all.”

In addition to engaging several well-established works of theoretical and textual liberation (by Rosemary Radford Ruether, Phyllis Trible, Susan Bordo, and others), participants in this iteration of God/Sex/Word/Flesh will also have the opportunity to respond to a recent fictional or autobiographical contribution to the discussion, such as Naomi Alderman’s The Power or Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness.


Dr. Nik Ansell
ICS 220804 W21
ICT5220HS L0101 / L9101*
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Thursdays, 5 - 8pm

(MA, PhD)

Syllabus


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

Capitalism(s) in the West: Intellectual History, Core Institutions, and Architectonic Critique

This course explores the intellectual history of and thematizes the current core politico-economic concepts and institutions under the umbrella of capitalism and brings the Reformational architectonic critique to bear thereon. The concept and terminology of capitalism remain contested by critics and proponents. The seminar will explore the conceptual characteristics and institutional dimensions of capitalism and aims to distinguish - both historically and conceptually - merchant capitalism, plantation capitalism, industrial capitalism, and finance capitalism, to name but a few of the prominent forms. The aim is to develop a Christian critical view of the constitutive and normative foundations of such concepts and forms in capitalism as market, property, exchange, value, profit, transnational corporations, and the like.


Dr. Michael DeMoor, and Samir Gassanov
ICS 243101 W21
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Thursdays, 11am - 2pm

(MA, PhD)

Syllabus


*Attention UT/TST students: if you are interested in taking this course for credit, you must petition your college of registration to count the course credit toward your degree program.

Body, Language, Power: The Question of the Human in 20th Century French Philosophy

Following the groundbreaking phenomenological insights of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, philosophers in France in the 20th century developed a uniquely existential phenomenology that emphasizes our concrete experience as subjects situated in a world of meaning. This course studies key representatives of this tradition, focusing on the ways that our experience as human beings is defined by our relations to other people, our embodiment, and our concerns about freedom and authenticity. We will explore the challenge that philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Frantz Fanon pose to the familiar image of the human as primarily rational, individual, and autonomous, and we will work towards developing instead a “relational” understanding of the human being as characterized by desire and as cultivated in socio-political contexts. We will also trace the development of existential phenomenology toward the critique of “the subject” in works by Julia Kristeva and Michel Foucault, exploring the ways that human beings are produced in systems of language and power, while at the same time capable of reinventing or “revolting” against these systems. 


Dr. Andrew Tebbutt
ICS 220608 W21
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Wednesdays, 2 - 5pm

(MA, PhD)

Syllabus


*Attention UT/TST students: if you are interested in taking this course for credit, you must petition your college of registration to count the course credit toward your degree program.

IDS: Meaning/Being/Knowing

“Meaning is the being of all that has been created and the nature even of our selfhood.” With these enigmatic words, which form part of the introduction to his magisterial New Critique of Theoretical Thought, the neo-Calvinist philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd signals his intention to de-centre the central concern of Ontology by relativizing (which is to say thoroughly relating) the philosophical notion of Being to Meaning, even to the point of (re-)defining creation’s being as meaning—all in the conviction that this will enable us to engage in (rather than circumvent or supersede) the work of Ontology (and thus Epistemology) in a truly systematic, integrally Christian, way. Although it might seem as though Dooyeweerd is merely substituting one metaphysical idea for another, his reference to the nature of our selfhood here indicates that, for all its theoretical import for Philosophical Anthropology, this highly suggestive proposal also has profound implications for how we might both appreciate and pull upon our deepest (religious) self-knowledge, which takes shape before the face of God as we face the world. To do the work of Ontology well—to gain genuine insight into the “nature of things” and to identify the contours and coherence of the world’s general structures without undermining investigation or denaturing experience—will require that we also draw upon a pre-theoretical form of Knowing, and a spiritual grounding and hope, that will always precede and exceed our understanding.


Drs. Nik Ansell, Ron Kuipers, Bob Sweetman
ICS 2400AC W21
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Wednesdays, 10am - 1pm

(MA, PhD)

Syllabus

Rhetoric as Philosophy from Isocrates to the Age of Abelard and Heloise

This seminar examines the ancient and medieval discipline of rhetoric and its practitioners’ claim that it represents a properly philosophical discourse. It does so in terms of a selection of texts drawn from the works of Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Abelard and Heloise. In the process, it explores the relationship between affectivity and discursive validity as an implication of the cultural intent of philosophy, i.e., whether historical philosophies are best thought of as a speculative sciences, arts of right living, or whether they call out to be thought of in other terms altogether.


Dr. Bob Sweetman
ICS 220407 W21
ICH5720HS L0101 / L9101*
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Tuesdays, 2 - 5pm

(MA, PhD)


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

Religion, Life and Society: Reformational Philosophy

An exploration of central issues in philosophy, as addressed by Herman Dooyeweerd, Dirk Vollenhoven, and the “Amsterdam School” of neoCalvinian thought. The course tests the relevance of this tradition for recent developments in Western philosophy. Special attention is given to critiques of foundationalism, metaphysics, and modernity within reformational philosophy and in other schools of thought.


Dr. Bob Sweetman
ICS 1107AC / 2107AC W21
Remote (Online Synchronous)
Mondays, 8pm - 11pm

(MA, PhD)

Syllabus


*Attention TST students: if you are interested in taking this course for credit, you must petition your college of registration to count the course credit toward your degree program.