Theory Into Practice: Staff Development Programs

(90) Reflecting on what has been proposed here, some may wonder how it can be implemented. After all, very few teachers really practice such a methodology consistently. And lack of know-how is probably the major obstacle to any effective change in teacher behaviour. The members of the International Commission on the Apostolate of Jesuit Education can understand such reservations. Research has shown that many educational innovations have foundered precisely because of such problems.

(91) We are convinced, therefore, that staff development programs involving inservice training are essential in each school, province or region where this Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm will be used. Since teaching skills are mastered only through practice, teachers need not only an explanation of methods, but also opportunities to practice them. Over time staff development programs can equip teachers with an array of pedagogical methods appropriate for Ignatian pedagogy from which they can use those more appropriate for the needs of students whom they serve. Staff development programs at the province or local school level, therefore, are an essential, integral part of the Ignatian Pedagogy Project.

(92) Accordingly, we are convinced of the need to identify and train teams of educators who will be prepared to offer staff development programs for province and local groups of teachers in the use of the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm. Therefore, training workshops are now being planned. These will, of course, encourage local adaptations of specific methods which are consistent with the Ignatian pedagogy proposed.