Noteworthy Features of the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm

(71) We naturally welcome an Ignatian that speaks to the characteristics of Jesuit education and to our own goals as teachers. The continual interplay of CONTEXT, EXPERIENCE, REFLECTION, ACTION and EVALUATION provides us with a pedagogical model that is relevant to our cultures and times. It is substantial and appealing model that speaks directly to the teaching-learning process. it is a carefully reasoned way of proceeding, cogently and logically argued from principles of Ignatian spirituality and Jesuit education. it consistently maintains the importance and integrity of the interrelationship of teacher, learner and subject matter within the real context in which they live. It is comprehensive and complete in its approach. Most importantly, it addresses the realities as well as ideals of teaching in practical and systematic ways while, at the same time, offering the radical means we need to meet our educational mission of forming young men and women-for-others. As we continue to work to make Ignatian pedagogy an essential characteristic of Jesuit education in our schools and classrooms, it may help us to remember the following about the Paradigm itself:

(72) * The Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm applies to all Curricula. As an attitude, a mentality and a consistent approach which imbues all our teaching, the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm applies to all curricula. It is easily applicable even to curricula prescribed by governments or local educational authorities. It does not demand the addition of a single course, but it does require the infusion of new approaches in the way we teach existing courses.

(73) * The Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm is fundamental to the teaching-learning process. It applies not only to the academic disciplines but also to the non-academic areas of schooling, such as extra-curricular activities, sports, community service programs, retreat experiences, and the like. Within a specific subject (History, Mathematics, Language, Literature, Physics, Art, etc.), the paradigm can serve as a helpful guide for preparing lessons, planning assignments, and designing instructional activities. The paradigm has considerable potential for helping students to make connections across as well a s within disciplines and to integrate their learning with what has gone before. Used consistently throughout a school's program, the paradigm brings coherence to the total educational experience of the student. Regular application of the model in teaching situations contributes to the formation for students of a natural habit of reflecting on experience before acting.

(74) * The Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm promises to help teachers be better teachers. It enables teachers to enrich the content and structure of what they are teaching. It gives teachers additional means of encouraging student initiative. It allows teachers to expect more of students, to call upon them to take greater responsibility for and be more active in their own learning. It helps teachers to motivate students by providing the occasion and rationale for inviting students to relate what is being studied to their own world experiences.

(75) * The Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm personalises learning. It asks students to reflect upon the meaning and significance of what they are studying. It attempts to motivate students by involving them as critical active participants in the teaching-learning process. It aims for more personal learning by bringing student and teacher experiences closer together. It invites integration of learning experiences in the classroom with those of home, work, peer culture, etc.

(76) * The Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm stresses the social dimension of both learning and teaching. It encourages close cooperation and mutual sharing of experiences and reflective dialogue among students. It relates student learning and growth to personal interaction and human relationships. It proposes steady movement and progress toward action that will affect the lives of others for good. Students will gradually learn that their deepest experiences come from their relationship with what is human, relationships with and experiences of persons. Reflection should always move toward greater appreciation of the lives of others, and of the actions, policies or structures that help or hinder mutual growth and development as members of the human family. This assumes, of course, that teachers are aware of and committed to such values.