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a journal of analysis and comment advancing public understanding of religion and education
(more on the Journal)

Winter 2006, Vol. 33 No. 1


Penny A. Bishop is Assistant Professor and Director of Middle Level Teacher Education at the University of Vermont, Burlington. Her teaching and research interests focus on the developmental nature of early adolescence and developmentally responsive schooling for young adolescents.  She earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Vermont, and her dissertation on middle grades partner teams received the 1998 Distinguished Dissertation Award from the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Before joining the field of teacher education, Penny was a middle school teacher in Vermont public schools and an assessment consultant for the Vermont Department of Education. She currently consults with teachers and administrators in the areas of school organization, interdisciplinary and partner teaming, and school change.  She is the co-author of Reaching and Teaching Middle School Learners: Asking Students to Show Us What Works, published by Corwin Press; co-author of The Power of Two: Partner Teams in Action and co-editor of Living and Learning in the Middle Grades: The Dance Continues, both published by the National Middle School Association. Her articles have appeared in Middle School Journal, Research in Middle Level Education Online, Current Issues in Middle Level Education, and Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.

Alyssa N. Bryant is an educational researcher at RTI International in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Higher Education at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. She received her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change from the University of California, Los Angeles where she worked for five years at the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI). She currently collaborates as a research associate with her colleagues at HERI on a study entitled, Spirituality in Higher Education: A National Study of College Students’ Search for Meaning a Purpose, funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Her primary research interests include religious diversity on college campuses, the intersection of gender issues and spirituality in faith development, and the role of spiritual struggles in college students’ spiritual growth. Please direct all correspondence regarding the article in this issue to: Dr. Alyssa N. Bryant, Research Education Scientist, RTI International, Education Studies Division, 3040 Cornwallis Road, P.O. Box 12194, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.

Mary de Villiers received her M.Ed. degree in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago and her B.S. degree in Journalism from the University
of Missouri-Columbia. She is currently teaching English as a Second Language in Japan.


Jennifer Grant Haworth, Ph.D., is Associate Vice President for Mission and an Associate Professor in the Higher Education/Student Affairs
Administration graduate program at Loyola University Chicago. She was the internal evaluator for Loyola’s Lilly Endowment-funded Evoke project
between 2000 and 2005. She recently completed collecting data for a three year longitudinal study focused on understanding how students make meaning
of and respond to the theme of vocation or call in their lives.


Robert J. Nash has been a professor in the College of Education and Social Services, University of Vermont, Burlington, for 36 years. He specializes in philosophy of education, ethics, higher education, and religion, spirituality, and education. He holds graduate degrees in English, Theology/Religious Studies, Applied Ethics and Liberal Studies, and Educational Philosophy. He holds faculty appointments in teacher education, higher education administration, and interdisciplinary studies in education. He administers the Interdisciplinary Master’s Program, and he teaches ethics, religion, higher education, and philosophy of education courses, as well as scholarly personal narrative writing seminars, across four programs in the college, including the doctoral program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.  He has published more than 100 articles, book chapters, monographs, and essay book reviews in many of the leading journals in education at all levels. He is a member of the editorial board for the journal of Religion & Education, and one of its frequent contributors. Since 1996, he has published seven books, several of them national award winners: “Real World” Ethics: Frameworks for Educators and Human Service Professionals (1st and 2nd editions);  Answering the “Virtuecrats”: A Moral Conversation on Character Education; Faith, Hype, and Clarity: Teaching About Religion in American Schools and Colleges; Religious Pluralism in the Academy: Opening the Dialogue; Spirituality, Ethics, Religion, and Teaching: A Professor’s Journey; and Liberating Scholarly Writing: The Power of Personal Narrative. He is presently writing a book with Professor Penny Bishop, Middle-Level educator, whose working title is Teaching Adolescents Religious Literacy in a Post-9/11 World.  He has done a variety of consultancies throughout the country for a number of human service organizations and colleges and universities. He has also made a series of major presentations at national conferences and at universities on the topics of ethics, character education, religious pluralism, personal narrative scholarship, and moral conversation.  In 2003, he was named University Scholar in the Social Sciences and the Humanities at The University of Vermont.

Gregory E. Stone is an Assistant Professor of Research and Measurement in the Department of Foundations of Education.

Elizabeth J. Tisdell is Associate Professor of Adult Education at Penn State University -Harrisburg and teaches in the Adult Education Doctoral Program.  She is the author of Exploring Spirituality and Culture in Adult and Higher Education published in 2003 by Jossey-Bass.  Her research interests are in adult teaching and learning in higher education, the role of spirituality in culturally responsive teaching, and in critical media literacy.

Gerard A. Zam is an Assistant Professor of Secondary Social Studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The University of Toledo.  Dr. Zam holds a Ph.D. in both Social Foundations and Secondary Social Studies Education from The Ohio State University.  He also sits on the Executive Board of the Ohio Council for the Social Studies and contributes regularly to its journal and annual conferences.