Revolution Lullabye

May 23, 2011

Ignatian Pedagogy A Practical Approach

International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education. “Ignatian Pedagogy: A Practical Approach.”

The goal of this whitepaper is to make the 1986 document The Characteristics of Jesuit Education more usable for teachers,  more attuned to daily pedagogical practices. It is meant to be a flexible document, one that should be adopted to local cultures and constraints and infused into existing curriculum. The paper defines Ignatian pedagogy and explains the goals of Jesuit education, the role of the student-teacher relationship, the Ignatian pedagogical paradigm, and the challenges of implementing Ignatian pedagogy.

The Ignatian pedagogical paradigm includes these five activities, which, in a Jesuit education, are constantly happening: context (or understanding where the student, the institution is coming from and is located in the larger world), experience (acquiring facts, knowledge, and experience), reflection (seeing the connections between one set of experiences and another – academic or otherwise), action (feeling compelled to move that knowledge towards action), and evaluation (seeing where the student has come and how the students needs to develop further – both in an academic and “whole person” idea.)

Notes and Quotes

The goal of Jesuit education: to form men and women for others, men and women who are challenged to grow as whole persons who will be called to actively serve and lead others. Jesuit education pursues excellence, a commitment to justice, a discerning mind, a belief in the dignity and holiness in all life.

The model in Jesuit education is Christ himself – finding and working towards God’s love in communion with others. Students educated in the Jesuit tradtion are encouraged to move beyond ordinary ways to express their love for each other and their neighbor.

The academic disciplines in Jesuit education have a human centerness: they relate to what it means to be human.

Education that is both intellectual and moral: creating “competent, conscious, and compassionate commitment” (5)

Education in faith and for justice “means helping [students] to understand and appreciate that other people are their richest treasure” (7)

Students in the Ignatian tradition need to be actively pursuing knowledge – need to have the freedom and the drive to acquire knowledge and reflect on it. Teachers are the guides to help students do that, giving them opportunities to engage in all of the activities on the Ignatian pedagogical paradigm, with clear, scaffolded objectives that meet students where they are and lead them to become more. Also the importance of repetition (37-38)

Ignatian pedagogy depends on a close student-teacher relationship, where the teacher forges personal connections with the students.

Has a central concern for the human being in all things.

“To be successful in bringing the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm into regular use in Jesuit schools, members of the International Commission are convinced that staff development programs in each province and school are essential. Teachers need much more than a cognitive introduction to the Paradigm. They require practical training that engages and enables them to reflect on the experience of using these new methods confidently and effectively.” – ongoing professional development that emphasizes reflective practice is key for implementing Ignatian pedagogy.

“And I am personally greatly encouraged by what I sense as a growing desire on the part of many in countries around the globe to pursue more vigorously the ends of Jesuit education which, if properly understood, will lead our students to unity, not fragmentation; to faith, not cynicism; to respect for life, not the raping of our planet; to responsible action based on moral judgement, not to timorous retreat or reckless attack.” (40, Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, “Ignatian Pedagogy Today” 1993).

May 18, 2011

The International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education, Go Forth and Teach: The Characteristics of Jesuit Education

The International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education, Go Forth and Teach: The Characteristics of Jesuit Education. Originally published in 1986.

This published collection of the essential characteristics of Jesuit education provides Jesuit secondary schools and colleges with a common vision and benchmark to which assess and evaluate their educational objectives. The first Ratio (characteristics of Jesuit education) was published in 1586.

Key question: What is the distinctive nature of Jesuit education? There are 28 characteristics of Jesuit education listed, divided into nine sections, each section preceded by a statement of the Ignatian vision that illuminates that group of characteristics. The tenth section explains Ignatian pedagogy.

Notes and Quotes

Characteristics (of the 28) that seem to illuminate writing pedagogy:

the development of effective communication skills and the cultivation of the affective and creative dimension of human life (5-6)

the role of the individual in a larger community (6)

growth in the responsible use of freedom is necessitated on personal relationships between student and teacher (7) – cura personalis

education is tailored to the individual student’s need (7)

students learn to be self-reflective, independent learners (7)

teachers are encouraged to engage in lifelong education, development, reflection, and growth (8)

students discern values by wrestling with differing points of view and the values that underlie them (8)

education for justice: issues about justice are included in the curriculum, “give counter-witness to the values of the consumer society”, awareness and involvment in the serious issues of today (11)

stress community values and the fact that talents should be cultivated for the good of others (11)

reflection

seek magis  – seek human excellence, promote excellence

ongoing professional training and development (17)

“The curriculum should be so integrated that each individual course contributes to the overall goal of the school….The pedagogy is to include analysis, repetition, active reflection, and synthesis; it should combine theoretical ideas with their applications” (18)

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