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  • Biographical Description

  • Ph.D., CU Boulder (Social, Multicultural, and Bilingual Foundations of Education)

    MA, Mankato State University (Experiential Education)

    MTS,  Masters of Theological Studies, Iliff School of Theology 

    BA, Cornell University (Environmental Education)

    Clinical Professor Curriculum Studies and Teaching (CS&T).

    Current teaching responsibilities include: a curriculum course and a research course for practicing teachers, a history of education course, courses on teaching for undergraduate students, and a course on the spirituality of educaiton.

    Current service responsibilities include: coaching/mentoring new faculty in the MCE on effective instruction in higher education, leading professional development workshops on teaching identity for metro area teachers and building leaders, and advising doctoral students.

    Teaching philosophy: I believe that the purpose of education is to transform the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual life of the learner.  I believe, consistent with the root meaning of educaiton, that transformation is the process of drawing out the inner wisdom of the learner.  My responsibility as an educator is to create an engaged and rigorus learning environment where learners are invited into deep relationship with the content we are studying as well as each other as members of a classroom community. Academic success is premised more on change and transformation of the learner rather than the capacity to present back to me specific forms of information.  

    Current scholarly and instructional interests: My Master’s thesis at Iliff was an invitation for faculty to set aside their overemphasis on their role as pedagogues and enliven their historical role as mystagogues. In antiquity, the mark of an excellent teacher was the abiity to mystify the curriculum for learners through story, metaphor, and parable. As such, I'm increasingly drawn to writing and thinking about mystery in all its forms in teaching and learning. 

  • The Heart of Teaching

  • Emily Dickinson wrote, "tell all the truth and tell it slant". I hear in her statement an invitation to explore non-linear and non-rational ways of telling the truth about teaching and learning. The role of the arts is fundamental to describing and exploring the inner life of educators. This is particularly true when examining the paradoxical space between an educators call to serve and the instutional imperatives of rules, protocols, and standards. The following examples illustrate the ways that art invites new ways of seeing oneself as a teacher and understanding the inner dimensions of professional identity. The activity begins with a reading of the poem "Winter Grace" followed by a full-group discssion of themes or ideas that resonate or speak to the lived experience of educators. The activity concludes with an invitation to paint-illustrate the margins of the poem in ways that capture the deep meaning of the poem for the educator.  

  • Winter's Grace

    To read "Winter Grace"

  • Winter Grace Illustration
    Winter Grace Illustration
  • A Purification

    To read "A Purificaton"

  • Purification Illustration
    Purification Illustration
  • Curriculum Vitae

  • Michalec CV 2020

  • Publications

  • Teaching interests: teacher education, history of education, philosophy of education, sociology of education, social justice and schooling, school and society, environmental education, experiential/adventure education, effective instruction, and spirituality of education.

    Research and Writing interests: action research, spirituality of education, learning, and effective instruction in higher education.  I'm a regular contributor to a newsletter on spirituality and education called EnCouragment which currently has a mailing list of nearly 7000 recipients. 

    Professional development interests: I'm a nationally-trained facilitator for Courage To Teach, a signature program for the Center for Courage and Renwal The Center is dedicated to the task of helping teachers and building leaders, "connect who they are with what they do." Courage To Teach features a series of quarterly retreats over a 16-month period designed to renew, refresh, and rejuvinate teachers and education leaders. Courage To Teach is based on the work and vision of Parker Palmer.  My work in this area consists of three inter-related strands:

    1.  Refining my teaching through an evidenced-based self reflective process of discernment around my identity and integrity as an educator; and coaching other faculty in higher education through a similar process.

    2.  Facilitating retreats for teachers and public school administrators that invite these professionals into a learning space of renewal and reconnection with their professional passions.  Courage work forms the basis of a deeper version of professional development when technique no longer is suficient and sustaining of a teacher's love for teaching.

    3.  Facilitating inter-faith, non-religious, retreats for clergy and layleaders looking to reconnect with or hear more fully their inner teacher as they travel the path of personal spiritual development.

    Drop me a line if you want to talk about teaching, learning, or the spirituality of education.

  • Publications

    To link to publications page:

  • Professional Development

  • Professional Development

    To link to professional development page:


  • Education Interviews

  • Interview with Barth Quenzer
  • Interview with Senator Michael Johnston

This portfolio last updated: 21-Apr-2021 9:10 AM