Faculty Feature: Dr. Jack Beckman
Faculty Feature is a series in the Blue Tribune that recognizes the excellent professors and staff of Covenant College through a series of questions.
This week we're highlighting Dr. Jack Beckman, Professor of Education.
What brought you to Covenant? How long have you been teaching?
Both calling and community were instrumental in drawing me to Covenant College. I knew I was called toward teaching in higher education in my vocation and Covenant - with its distinctive philosophy of teaching and learning focused on a clear and cohesive set of Reformed theological principles - was a perfect fit for me. Moreover, the community of learners at the College was a clear pull as well. It was obvious that faculty, students, and staff were set in a cohesive, loving, and quirky community laboring for the purposes of glorifying God and encouraging one another.
What do you love about teaching at Covenant?
The students are often my source of inspiration and encouragement. They are eager to learn and more than willing to take learning outside of the classroom. I enjoy being part of their journey as God unfolds His plans in their lives - both in the joys and in the struggles.
What is your history with the PCA or Reformed Tradition?
My family is generationally Presbyterian. I was 17 when my church became part of the movement to form the PCA.
What is a current research project or area of interest you're excited about?
I am a Visiting Research Fellow for the University of Cumbria in the UK. My research focus is on the life and work of a British educationalist named Charlotte Mason (1842-1923). The UfoC was the seat of Mason's educational work, but has sadly diminished. My colleagues and I are tasked with developing a research agenda and working with that institution to "resurrect" Mason's pedagogy and philosophy for a current context. I also serve as a Senior Research Fellow for Cardus - a Canadian-based cultural think-tank.
Anything else prospective students should know about you?
I am an avid storyteller and use that calling almost every day in my courses.
Tell us a little about your family:
I am married to my best friend, Barbara, for these last 45 years. I have two married daughters who live in the area, and most importantly - four grandchildren!
How do you/your department encourage each student to pursue academic excellence?
The education programs at Covenant are rigorous and challenging as our mission is to develop well-prepared teacher practitioners for the regulus of today's classrooms - public, private, Christian, international. Each course is designed to help students balance theological understandings with best practices in the field. Whether focusing on emergent literacy or mathematics concepts and principles or science and social studies, our teacher candidates are given essential content and pedagogical knowledge and skills to become transformative agents in the lives of students.
According to our accrediting agency, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, our programs from 2019-2021 rate as Level 4 - the highest honor given to an education preparation provider.