Belief systems have a role in shaping the performance of teachers and principles – that’s what MU researcher Noelle Witherspoon-Arnold has found. According to Witherspoon-Arnold, educators with strong belief systems are more connected to their work and their students, and they are more likely to be social justice-oriented than educators without strong belief systems. But “belief system” doesn’t always mean religion – and whatever that system is, there are often tensions at play.
We sat down with her to find out more. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.
Columbia voters passed the school bond issue by a margin of 23 percent. This means a twelve cent increase on every 100 dollars a Columbia resident pays in property taxes. School board member Jonathan Sessions says this bond will go towards building a new elementary school and eliminating trailers at the elementary level. School board members attribute the success of the bond issue to the board’s communication with voters.