John Walcott

John Walcott


MAT, Calvin College, 1994
PhD, Michigan State University, 2012


Dr. Walcott brings a strong focus on the social context of education, issues of social justice and equity, and urban education to his work in Calvin’s Education Department. He pushes his students to think critically and to engage with challenging questions about education, society, and our response to injustice and inequity.

Dr. Walcott exhibits a passion for teaching and learning that is founded on his experience as a middle and high school teacher and high school principal. He has worked in multicultural and cross-cultural settings both in the United States and in Latin America. His work in urban schools has fueled his focus on urban focused teacher preparation. John also remains active in working with teachers and administrators in the Dominican Republic.

Dr. Walcott’s research has focused on urban education and on the pursuit of equity in urban schools. He received the AILACTE Scholar Award for his research on urban-focused teacher preparation in liberal arts colleges and was also awarded a Title II Improving Teacher Quality grant to work with teachers in local schools. In his research he seeks to contribute to our understanding and practice of promoting equity and justice for all students.

Academic interests

  • Urban Education
  • Multicultural Education
  • Social Context of Education
  • Social Justice and Equity in Education


  • Walcott, J. R. (2021). Understanding educational inequity. Implications for teacher education programs in Christian colleges and universities. Journal of Research on Christian Education.
  • “Urban-Focused and Community-Based Teacher Preparation,” International Christian Community of Teacher Educators Journal 14 no.2, Article 2 (2019).
  • “Learning from Our Neighbors: Christian Schools in Latin America,” Christian Educators Journal 56, no. 3 (February 2017): 8–10.
  • Walcott, J. R. (2014). Review of the book, Becoming teachers of inner-city students: Life histories and teacher stories of committed White teachers, by J.C. Jupp. Teachers College Record, Date published: November 6, 2014. Peer reviewed.
  • "Urban-focused Teacher Preparation in Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities: Confronting the Challenges," Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE) Journal 16 (2019): 1–24.


  • “Faith-Based Perspectives on Teaching for Justice: Challenges and Opportunities,” National Association of Multicultural Education Annual Conference, October, 2020.
  • “Educational Inequality and Christian Education,” Christian Educators Association Convention, South Bend, IN, October 25, 2018.
  • Walcott, J. R. (2017). Equipping teachers to understand and pursue educational equity and justice. Paper presented at National Association of Multicultural Education Conference, November, 2017.
  • Walcott, J. R. (2017). Seeking biblical justice in education: Understanding and confronting educational inequality. Workshop at Christian Community Development Association National Conference, October, 2017.
  • "Culturally Relevant Literacy Practices with African American Adolescent Males," (5/22/2015) With Dr. J. Walcott, Calvin College Education Program. Southeast Career Pathways, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grand Rapids, MI.
  • "Accountability 'and/vs' Equity in Urban Education: Where Do We Go From Here?" American Educational Studies Association. Hyatt Regency Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 10/31/2014
  • "Urban-Focused Teacher Preparation at Liberal Arts Colleges," Association for Liberal Arts Colleges of Teacher Education Annual Meeting and Conference. Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, Indianapolis, Indiana. 03/01/2014
  • "What Do We Mean by Accountability in Urban-Focused Teacher Preparation," American Education Research Association Annual Meeting. Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 04/03/2014
  • Peer Reviewer of conference submissions and journal articles for: John Dewey Society, National Association of Multicultural Education, Urban Education journal, and International Christian Community of Teacher Educators Journal.
  • “Faith-based Perspectives on Teaching for Justice: Challenges and Opportunities,” Virtual lecture, National Association for Multicultural Education Annual Conference, October 9–10, 2020.

Professional services

  • Organized/Chaired conference: Summer Seminar Series Summer Seminar - Improving Teacher Quality. Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 07/24/2014
  • Reviewed conference submissions on behalf of the John Dewey Society and articles for the Urban Education journal (2011-2012).


  • University Distinguished Fellowship, Michigan State University
  • AILACTE Scholar Award, Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education (AILACTE)
  • Improving Teacher Quality Competitive Grant, Michigan Department of Education

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