Faculty Spotlight: Mr. Knerr

Story by Head of Academic Development Micah Gall

If you’ve been around Westminster for any time at all, you’ve probably run into Chris Knerr, a man who has worn many hats in his time at Westminster. In addition to teaching 10th grade history, Mr. Knerr also serves as a member of our Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), which exists to train and support teacher growth and development. As part of the CTL team, Mr. Knerr works to help teachers understand what it means to teach from a Reformed Christian perspective.

Students often experience school as just an exercise in intellect, but Mr. Knerr is here to push them beyond that perception. His 10th grade AP European History class is a good example of what this looks like. This year, Mr. Knerr has made several additions to the curriculum in order to engage both the minds and the bodies of his students.

In recent units, students in his classes have focused on the importance of architecture, which Frank Lloyd Wright called the mother of all art. Mr. Knerr has run with this idea, pushing his students to explore and understand how physical space shapes our experiences and how our experiences shape us. In recent units, students have created architecture of their own and even taken a field trip to different “sacred spaces” in the St. Louis community (places like the Cathedral Basilica and various modern churches) to gain an understanding of how these spaces encapsulate a culture’s beliefs and views about life, meaning, and God. In addition to this, some of his classes are working to redesign the classroom space itself into a place that would be most conducive to meaningful learning.

It’s classes like this and teachers like Mr. Knerr that make the Westminster academic experience so unique and valuable to our students as we work to “prepare and equip” them to “engage the world and change it for Jesus Christ.” Well done, Mr. Knerr!

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