Some Overriding Pedagogical Principles (Ignatian "Annotations")
(99) There follows a translation of the "Annotations" or guiding notes to the Director of the Spiritual Exercises into Introductory Ignatian Pedagogical statements:
(100)1 By "learning" is meant every methods of experiencing, reflecting and acting upon the truth; every way of preparing and disposing oneself to be rid of all obstacles to freedom and growth (Annotation 1).
(101)2 The teacher explains to the student the method and order of the subject and accurately narrates the facts. He/she stays to the point and adds only a short explanation. The reason for this is that when students take the foundation presented, go over it and reflect on it, they discover what makes the matter clearer and better understood. this comes from their own reasoning, and produces greater sense of accomplishment and satisfaction than if the teacher explained and developed the meaning at great length. It is not much knowledge that fills and satisfies students, but the intimate understanding and relish of the truth (Annotation 2).
(102)3 In all learning we make use of the acts of intellect in reasoning and acts of the will in demonstrating our love (Annotation 3).
(103)4 Specific time periods are assigned to learning and generally correspond to the natural divisions of the subject. However, this does not mean that every division must necessarily consist of a set time. for it may happen at times that some are slower in attaining what is sought while some may be more diligent, some more troubled and tired. so it may be necessary at times to shorten the time, at others to lengthen it (Annotation 4).
(104)5 The student who enters upon learning should do so with a great-heartedness and generosity, freely offering all his or her attention and will to the enterprise (Annotation 5).
(105)6 When the teacher sees the student is not affected by any experiences, he or she should ply the student with questions, inquire about when and how study takes place, question the understanding of directions, ask what the student's reflection yielded, and ask for an accounting (Annotation 6).
(106)7 If the teacher observes that the student is having troubles, he or she should deal with the student gently and kindly. The teacher should encourage and strengthen the student for the future by reviewing mistakes kindly and suggesting ways for improvement (Annotation 7).
(107)8 If during reflection a student experiences joy or discouragement, he or she should reflect further on the causes of such feelings. Sharing such reflection with a teacher can help the student to perceive areas of consolation or challenge that can lead to further growth or that might subtly block growth (Annotations 8, 9, 10).
(108)9 The student should set about learning the matter of the present as if he or she were to learn nothing more. The student should not be in haste to cover everything. "Non multa, sed multum" ("Treat matter selected in depth; don't try to cover every topic in a given field of inquiry") (Annotation 11).
(109)10 The student should give to learning the full time that is expected. It is better to go overtime than to cut the time short, especially when the temptation to "cut corners" is strong, and it is difficult to study. Thus the student will et accustomed to resist giving in and strengthen study in the future (Annotations 12 and 13).
(110)11 If the student in learning is going along with great success, the teacher will advise more care, less haste (Annotation 14).
(111)12 While the student learns, it is more suitable that the truth itself is what motivates and disposes the student. The teacher, like a balance of equilibrium, leans to neither side of the matter, but lets the student deal directly with the truth and be influenced by the truth (Annotation 15).
(112)13 In order that the Creator and Lord may work more surely in the creature, it will be most useful for the student to work against any obstacles which prevent an openness to the full truth (Annotation 16).
(113)14 The student should faithfully inform the teacher of any troubles or difficulties he or she is having, so that a learning process might be suited and adapted to personal needs (Annotation 17).
(114)15 Learning should always be adapted to the condition of the student engaged in it (Annotation 18).
(115)16 (The last two annotations allow for creative adaptations to suit persons and circumstances. Such readiness to adapt in the teaching-learning experience is greatly effective.) (Annotations 19 and 20).