Presentation of Current Research


AILACTE Annual Conference, 2013

Orlando, FL

Panel Participants

 Michael R. Hillis, Pacific Lutheran University: Moderator & Opening


 Barbara E. Kennedy & Verna J. Lowe, Asbury University: “All children are sacred: An educator dispositional fit”

 Mariana Robles-Dalany, California Lutheran University: “How can universities help teacher candidates develop an understanding that all children are sacred?”

 Kathlyn Mickel & Amy Lavold, Pacific Lutheran University: “A responsive partnership model: Overriding tradition”

 Frank M. Kline, Pacific Lutheran University: “The beloved community:

An administrator’s perspective”

The Immergence of this Theme

 Hillis, M.R., & Woolworth, S. (2008). If Dr. King were a principal: Building the 'beloved community' in schools. Democracy & Education, 18(1), 9-15.

 Theme issue on school violence

We attempted to imagine the way Dr. King would build a school culture using the premises of his “beloved community”

The premise here was that in schools that often have cultures of anonymity, which may subsequently give rise to student dislocation, we needed to take a more holistic approach to build healthy school communities.

Development of the Beloved Community

 While there are many facets that could be explored within this topic, let me provide two ideas that are central to its establishment

 Two Premises (Gary McNeil)

 Love

“The dream of a kingdom on earth is driven by love to create a

world as it should be” (McNeil, p. 7)

Not settling for the status quo

King’s conception of love as agape is his premise that this form of love is “understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill for all men” (Kenneth B. Clark Interview, 1991)

Development of the Beloved Community

 Power

“Alongside the dream of love, there are acts of power. In the

world as it is, Dr. King recognized that you had to create this kingdom, that unjust power had to be challenged by just

power” (McNeil, p. 7)

Love needs to be expressed in specific action

As King wrote: “We’ve got to get this thing right. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.

Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love” (Where do We Go from Here?).

Martin Luther King, Jr., the Beloved

Community, and Personalist Theology

 A second conceptualization I’ve recently written about is the personalist theology undergirding King’s (in press for

Summer, 2013 Religion & Education)

 Implications of personalist theology for education

 “Centrality of Personhood”

Personalism dictates to us a way of living – affirming each other’s dignity, worth, and sacredness

“Personalism & Freedom”

Crosby (2000): “If we are really going to respect persons, then we must step back from them, take our heavy hands off them, and let them be”

“Personalism as Relational”

A personalist orientation pushes us to actually live for others




Dr. Barbara E. Kennedy

Dr. Verna J. Lowe

Using Dispositions to Build Beloved


Setting: Asbury University

Asbury Cultural Quick Facts

 Asbury School of Education Mission:

…to facilitate the preparation of professional educators who embody worldclass academic excellence, spiritual integrity, and servant leadership.

Educator Preparation since 1925

NCATE (CAEP) and SACS accredited

Faith-Based; Non-denominational

Offers 42 certification areas

Views teaching as a “calling”

AACTE Dispositions Award 2005

Revised Assessment Process for graduate candidates 2006

Clinical Based Program Redesign Spring 2010

New Challenges

 Differentiation of leadership roles in education

 21 st Century learner…

-revolution in technology, globalization,

-diversity, shift in methodology due to shift in learners

 KY Senate Bill One: Unbridled Learning

 National and State Core Standards

Teachers as Leaders-Graduate Students

Educators who use their expertise to improve student learning by building Beloved

Communities (Communities of Professional

Learners) in these ways:

Strengthen the culture of the school;

Improve the accountability in the school;

Collaborate inside and outside the classroom in formal and informal ways;

Augment the professional skills of colleagues; and

Plan strategically for school improvement.







Building Beloved Communities


Cohort – based

AU Wide World


Two Foci:

Teaching & Learning



360-Degree Assessment




Know thyself-self assessment

AU faculty assessments

P-12 community assessments

Problem of Practice Focus

Action Planning








P-12 Community

Collaborators with teachers

& administrators

Reflective teacher & learner

Ethic of care for students

Distributed, shared leadership model as heart of 21 st century

Coaching as a skill

Directed to school wide improvement

Emphasis on Differentiation

& RtI

Moral and




& Respect for


Personal and


Wellness and


Standard XI

Asbury’s Dispositions and Indicators

Demonstrated by:

• Sensitivity by interpreting situations & becoming aware of how we affect others.

• Judgment through making decisions about which actions are right and wrong.

• Motivation through prioritizing moral values over personal preferences

• Character through strength of convictions, persistence and the will to overcome.

Demonstrated through:

• Caring behaviors, advocating, accessibility, & other-oriented decisions.

• Equitable treatment, acceptance of diversity, & openness to other perspectives.

• Interpersonal behavior (intelligence) that demonstrates “the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations, and desires of other people.”

Demonstrated through:

• Self-knowledge; discerning one’s beliefs, desires, fears, and capacities

• Emotional resilience, perseverance, appropriate expression of emotions, stress management, versatility, and adaptability to demands.

• Understanding of personal worth & commitment to a balanced, healthy lifestyle.

Standard XI

Asbury’s Dispositions and Indicators

Passion for


Demonstrated through:

• A contagious love of learning.

• A positive attitude and work ethic.

• Motivation and engagement of students in the learning process.


Sensitivity and Purpose

Demonstrated through:

• Living the examined life, discerning calling and developing a personal vision.

• Acting upon one’s spiritual vision and call

• Guiding the student’s search for meaning (exploring existential questions).

Program Elements




P-12 Codesign & Codelivery



Result = An “Ethic of Care”

Mariana Robles-Dalany, Ph.D.

Graduate School of Education

California Lutheran University

How Do We Learn What is Sacred?

Mosaic of Images Found on the Web (2013). Mars Hill College.

Retrieved with permission from Rel 450: Senior Seminar.

The Role of Teaching

Students do not necessarily enter teacher preparation programs with an innate awareness of children as sacred beings or the classroom as a community where each member’s mind, body and soul are nourished through learning and being.

The Role of Teaching

This asks more of teacher preparation programs than working with students toward creating a solid foundation in theory, pedagogy and practice…more than equipping candidates with the skills to meet state standards and pass performance assessments…

Modeling Beloved Communities in the

Liberal Arts Setting

where members are sacred, free and interdependent on one another.

…where partnerships are established between teacher preparation faculty and content area faculty.

Including Beloved Communities in a

Conceptual Framework for Teacher Education

Starting with the



Learning, Vocation and Service

Developing Self


Expanding Social





Including Beloved Communities in a Conceptual

Framework for Teacher Preparation



Vocation and





The Student

Guided exploration in self-discovery



Foundations in Theory,

Pedagogy and






Creating a caring and free classroom community

Working for social justice






Children as


“Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children.” Kahlil Gibran

Kahlil Grbran quotation. Retrieved from Quotationsbooks. http/

K/1 Students at El Centro Summer School in the Park, Pasadena, Ca.

Kathlyn Mickel

Director of Field Experiences

Amy Lavold

Visiting Clinical Instructor

Pacific Lutheran University

This We Know:

 The cooperating teacher is the most critical individual in the candidate’s experience

 School – University partnerships are the most reliable way to find and secure the best cooperating teachers

 Partnerships must endure the test of time and changes

This We Believe:

 The University has the responsibility to serve the school community

 The University can benefit through partnerships that prioritize school/district goals

This We Believe:

 Every school is cherished community of learners with:

 Valued and beloved children

 Innovative leaders

 Talented professionals

 Unique Identities with specific goals and priorities

Therefore, We Created:

 Symbiotic Partnerships

 The school needs, hopes, and dreams begin the conversation

First We:

 Identify projects that need support

 Mentor project

 Montessori Academy

 Implementation of Danielson

Then We:

 Discern where the University can help

 Professional development

 Facilities, shared assets

 Collaboration of tools, trainings

What We’ve Learned:

The relationship between school/district and the

University is stronger and long lasting

Honest conversations about candidates and cooperating teachers are frequent

Problems are resolved quickly with less “drama”

School personnel feel valued by the University as a vital part of the training team

Mutual projects add momentum to the school and


Placements with Cooperating teachers are usually secured, but not always

A working example:

Lincoln Center: A Partnership Instruction Model

Meeting the Needs of Diverse Students

 City Search

 Observation with debrief

 Student interviews

 Carefully selected readings

 Co-teaching

Addressing the Risk

 Structured differentiation

 Intentional support

 Co-teaching

 Structured differentiation

 Intentional support

Value Added for All

 More hands and eyes in the classroom

 Small group instruction

 Teacher leadership

 Sustainability

 School/community specific training


Introductory Stage

Systems and Strategies


Assessment Focus

Planning Stage

Transition focus


Intentional Training

Cooperating teacher is primary instructor, intern is observing,

Intern is learning classrooms/school systems and strategies.

Mentor teacher guides the intern in assessment work

Mentor teacher guides and instructs in full day lessons, intern plans 50% of the school day. “Immersion teaching” & “pendulum teaching” .

Intern begins and ends class while mentor teacher is not present.

Mentor teacher works with small groups during large group instruction.

Classroom management focus

Intern teacher is doing 100% of planning and mentor teacher is the

“assistant” in the class.

Full responsibility stage Intern has full responsibility for all planning and teaching, Mentor teacher can assume leadership roles outside the class or focus on intervention instruction for small groups.

Phase out stage Intern returns responsibility to cooperating teacher keeping just one or two classes. Intern learns about large scale assessment and data, and engages in whole school/community support

Frank Kline, Dean

Pacific Lutheran University


 What would the three attributes of a Beloved

Community look like from an administrative perspective?

 What can an administrator do to encourage a Beloved

Community in his/her unit?

Sacred Nature of the Individual

 Philosophically rooted in a concrete idealism expressed through personalism

 “There is no theme more prominent in King’s thought than the inherent dignity and worth of personality.” (p.


 Bowne, Brightman

 Rooted in religious perspective of “imago dei”

Administration of the Sacred Individual

 Administrator has two tasks

 Arrange for the “task” to be completed

 Care for the individual(s) working on the task.

 Concept of vocation

 Buechner’s definition—”Where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

 Operates on two levels



 Evaluation of individuals

Environment of Freedom

 Corollary of personalism

 Three elements

 Ability to weigh opportunities

 Possibility of making a choice

 Acceptance of responsibility

 Two aspects

 Personal

 Environmental

Administering Freedom

 Providing choices for the individual

 Negotiation of tasks

 Collaborative approach to work

 Supportive atmosphere

 Freedom of environment—Resources necessary to do a task

 Skills

 Tools

Interconnectedness of Individuals

 Personalism and imago dei

 An inseparable connection between the personal and social aspects of life. (p. 121)

 Grounded in the nature of the divine personality

 Reflected in the social nature of humans

 Hegel—dialectic tool (not the worldview)

 Thesis

 Antithesis

 Synthesis

Administrating Interconnectedness

 Teleology

 Movement from ___ to ____

 Mission as a statement of the coherent end

 Egalitarian atmosphere

 Dignity of all persons

 Distinction between levels of responsibility

 Managing conflict

 Hegelian synthesis

 Taking it serious