Dr. Chris Nonhof Associate Professor of Education and English
Ph.D., Cardinal Stritch University
M.Ed., Cardinal Stritch University
B.A., Dordt College
Before arriving at Northwestern College, Dr. Nonhof spent 16 years teaching English and theatre at private and public high schools in Florida and Wisconsin. He also taught argumentative writing at Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature, theatre arts, and secondary education from Dordt University, a master's degree in instructional technology from Cardinal Stritch University, and a doctorate in language and literacy from the College of Education at Cardinal Stritch University. His areas of interest are discourse/language and identity, qualitative research (narrative, ethnography, and case study in particular), diversity in education, and culturally responsive pedagogy. Dr. Nonhof currently holds Northwestern's James and Margaret Blekkink Endowed Education Professorship, which provides funds for his research. He received the Northwestern Teaching Excellence Award in 2022.
- Early Field Experience
(1 credit) This course requires 30 clock-hours of field experience with a certified teacher in an area school. Prerequisite: EDU102. (Note: Graded on a pass/no pass basis.)
- Reading in the Content Area
(2 credits) This course addresses skills necessary in teaching students to read in social studies, math, science, and other content areas. This course offers strategies for vocabulary, comprehension, study skills, writing, assessment, and more. Prerequisite: EDU102.
- General Methods in Secondary Education
(3 credits) (Writing intensive) The principles and methods of teaching at the secondary level, including lesson plans, teaching skills, reading in the content area, classroom management, evaluation and school law. Prerequisite: sophomore class standing and admission to the teacher education program. Note: This course includes a field experience. Students must earn a "C" or better in this course in order to fulfill program requirements for secondary licensure.
- Human Relations
(3 credits) This course addresses major issues and concepts associated with living in a culturally diverse society and/or teaching in culturally diverse settings. Students will consider ways in which ethnicity, gender/sexuality, social class, and religion intersect and influence beliefs and behaviors. Note: This course includes field experience.
- Educational Research Methods and Design
(3 credits) This course will provide an overview of research methodology employed for studies in the field of education. Topics include basic research methodology, interpretation of findings, and application of research in educational settings. Students will develop their ability to critically evaluate educational research and to judiciously apply findings in their professional settings. By the conclusion of the course students will be able to identify a potential topic for future research and outline the basic methodology needed to conduct the study. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
- Young Adult Literature
(2 credits, alternate years, consult department) This course examines the field of young adult literature in its various genres: realistic fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, nonfiction, and poetry. Students will develop criteria for book selection and learn ways to respond ethically to young adult literature. Prerequisite: ENG250LC. ENG292 is also recommended.
- Structures and Functions of English Grammar
(2 credits) Most middle schools and high schools expect their English teachers to teach writing and grammar. What are the goals of teaching grammar? What grammar should young writers know? This course takes a rhetorical approach to the study of grammar and to its use in the teaching of writing. Prerequisite: NWC101 and sophomore standing.
- Methods of Teaching Secondary English and Speech
(3 credits, alternate years, consult department) Students will study and practice methods for teaching English and speech in middle school and high school. Pre-service teachers will examine national standards for English/Language Arts and develop their pedagogy for teaching writing, literature, speaking, and listening. This course requires a 30-hour practicum. Prerequisites: EDU102 and ENG250LC. EDU 307 is strongly recommended. Note: Does not count toward an English major or minor. Cross-Referenced: Cross-referenced in theatre/speech.
- Special Topics in Literature and Culture
(4 credits, non-yearly, consult department) In this seminar we analyze interpretive problems in literature and their relation to cultural theories and conditions. Particular attention is given to questions germane to Christian experience and thought. Note: Specific subject matter will vary from year to year and might include such topics as a literary period, a national literature, a specific author, or literary genre. This course may be taken more than once provided a different topic is studied.
- First-Year Seminar
(4 credits) This course introduces students to the character and abilities considered essential to becoming a member of a Christian liberal arts community. Students develop their reading, writing and speaking skills by exploring difficult questions, learning to understand academic inquiry, forming learning communities, and integrating faith with learning and living.
Nonhof, C. (2022, October 13). “This is my best: Linking identity and meaningful research in the high school English classroom.” Presentation at Iowa Council of Teachers of English annual convention, Johnston, IA.
Brower, D. & Nonhof, C. (2022, October 7). “Teacher as servant…without being a doormat.” Presentation at International Network for Christian Higher Education annual conference, Kuyers Institute, Grand Rapids, MI.
Nonhof, C. and Smart, R. (2021, October 14). "Your story matters: Sacrificing the canon for the sake of the student." Presentation at Iowa Council of Teachers of English annual convention, Johnston, IA.
Heitritter, L. and Nonhof, C. (2019, November 12). "Redeeming 'teacher face': Bridging divides when words may fail." Presentation at UNI Education Summit, Cedar Falls, IA.
Nonhof, C. and Burns, C. (2019, October 10). "Discourse and AAVE: Code-switching in the academic setting." Presentation at Iowa Council of Teachers of English annual convention, Johnston, IA.
Nonhof, C. (2019). Dichotomy of discourse: An ethnography framing the relationships between teacher and student at an orphanage school in Monrovia, Liberia (Doctoral dissertation, Cardinal Stritch University).
Nonhof, C. and Boyle, F. (2018, May 24). "Bifurcating discourse: A framework for leveraging perspective and worldview for non-native teachers." Presentation at International Community of Christian Teacher Educators biennial convention, Abilene, TX.
Adjunct instructor, Lakeland College, 2014-15
English teacher, Cedar Grove/Belgium Area School District, 2002-15
Theater director and tennis coach, Sheboygan County Christian High School, 2007-08
English teacher, Lake Worth Christian School, 1999-2002
National Council of Teachers of English
Iowa Council of Teachers of English (board member)
Modern Language Association
Northwestern Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award (2022)
Blekkink Endowed Chair of Education (2019-present)
State of Iowa Master Educator: 1201 Secondary Language Arts: All, 149 Secondary Reading
Intel "Teach to the Future" Master Teacher