On the Vocation of the Educator at this Moment

Edited by Jennifer S. Maney and Melissa M. Shew

This book captures a specific moment in time as educators across the country and around the world were called to rethink their pedagogical strategies and vocations.

We were, and still are, caught in at least three crises: a global pandemic that upended education as we know it, heightened awareness about racial injustices that motivated people to take to the streets in protest, and crises in higher education that have been building for some time but have now erupted. This moment, of course, started in the spring of 2020 and will reverberate for decades to come. In the early winter of 2021, dozens of educators of all kinds across Marquette University’s campus accepted an invitation from the Center for Teaching and Learning to reflect on this moment from their own perspectives, expertise, and experiences.

This book is the result of their work. Here, educators in diverse departments and from distinct vantage points write in their own voices about the trinity of crises facing education. Some chapters are deeply personal; some are academic in tone; some are interrogative in nature. All are written with great heart and a desire to make some sense of this moment now. This volume is also a call to all educators and the institutions that house them to enter into this new vocational moment. Educators, administrators, staff, and students are called to be still, be engaged, be transformed, be connected, and be Ignatian. As etched in these pages, being called in these ways requires great humility and heart, compassion and strength, trust and forgiveness—not so that we can return to “normal,” but instead so that we can continue to carve out new meaningful paths not only with students, but also with each other.

Table of Contents

Section I: BE STILL

1. Prodigal Pedagogy: Teaching with Gospel-Inspired Generosity Conor M. Kelly
2. The Vocation of the International Educator in This Moment Caroline Oas
3. Reading Over Pandemic Time Sarah Wadsworth
4. Teaching Race While Being a Racialized Subject: Radical Vulnerability and Difficult Conversations, a Pedagogy for Critical Times Dinorah Cortés-Vélez
5. Incarnational Teaching Gary P. Klump
6. What I Learned on My COVID-19 Vacation Mary Carlson


Section II: BE ENGAGED

7. Reflecting on our Humanity: Compassionate Pedagogy During (and After) COVID-19 Michelle A. Rodrigues
8. Pivots and Portals: Reflections on Service Learning During Two Pandemics Kim Jensen Bohat
9. Textures of Disruption: Teaching in a Strange World Alexandra Crampton, Melissa Shew, and Lynne Shumow
10. In Praise of Digital Scholarship Projects, Or: “Why I Feel (Somewhat) Prepared for the Next Big One” Deirdre Dempsey
11. The Education Industry, the Marketplace of Ideas, and the Twilight of Catholic, Jesuit Education Noel S. Adams
12. Between Each Moment, Infinite Expanse Marcella Kearns


Section III: BE TRANSFORMED

13. Addressing the COVID-19 “Infodemic” Through Media Literacy Education Erin Hoekstra and Laurieann Klockow
14. The Paradox of Isolation When Caring for the Common Good During a Global Pandemic: Reflections from a Teacher Trying to Connect During COVID-19 Jon Metz
15. The Benefits of an Entrepreneurial Spirit in Pandemic Teaching Thomas Kaczmarek
16. Building Community in the (Virtual) COVID Classroom: A Blueprint for My Teaching Megan Heeder
17. Teaching in the Middle of a Pandemic: How a Challenge to Teach Differently Reinvigorated My Teaching Sumana Chattopadhyay
18. Pandemic Gifts for the Cultivation of Student Expertise Alexandra Crampton


Section IV: BE CONNECTED

19. Educating for Liberation: Teaching Philosophy as a Practice of Radical Kinship Theresa Tobin, Mahmood (James) Watkins, and Marisola Xhelili Ciaccio
20. How to Right Sociology Gone Wrong: Revisiting The Sociological Imagination Louise Cainkar
21. Teaching Spanish Culture in a Pandemic Scott Dale
22. Challenged to Change: Creating a Hope-Filled Future by Touching the Heart with Direct Experience Jennifer Henery and Karen Ross
23. The Digital Divide Amplified: Information Access and College Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic Leatha Miles-Edmonson
24. Stop, In the Name of Love: Why We Need Silence, Prayer, and Contemplation Danielle Nussberger


Appendix: BE IGNATIAN

Introduction & Five Ignatian Reflections, Michael Dante