In this interview Jim DeAngelo, Principal of St. Peter’s Prep in the United States tells us how having faculty completing the “Ignatian Global Citizenship” course as groups has and will continue to benefit the faculty formation program at St. Peter’s Prep school. Some of the benefits mentioned are that it “encourages collaboration among colleagues of different academic departments”, it “allows each person to recognize that the collegial connections are not just internal to the school”, “teachers gain an experience of collaborating with others across disciplines and share wisdom and ideas through their conversation”.

We invite you to read the following interview and to share your comments below. For more information about the “Ignatian Global Citizenship” course for faculty formation programs please click here.

Can you tell us about how you’ve used the Ignatian Global Citizenship Educate Magis course as part of your faculty formation program at St. Peter’s Prep?

The Global Citizenship course offered through Educate Magis has been a part of our faculty formation program for a number of years here at St. Peter’s Prep.  In particular, we have embedded the course into our formation programs for teachers in their first five years at the school.  This usually involves a meeting during which we explore the Educate Magis website to expose our colleagues to the breadth and depth of offerings available to them as part of the worldwide network of Jesuit education. It continues with some time to complete a module or two as a group with the “assignment” to complete the course either in small groups or individually before a follow-up meeting later in the year.  At other times, I have invited more senior members of the faculty to form small groups who commit to meet over a few months and discuss each module.  I have also used this course–and others–as part of our academic administrative team meetings and discussions in certain years.

From your point of view, what is the benefit of a group of faculty completing the Ignatian Global Citizenship course together?

The benefits of having groups complete the course together are many.  First, it’s just more fun.  But more importantly, it allows for myriad opportunities to encourage collaboration among colleagues of different academic departments.  These shared experiences also allow each person to recognize that the collegial connections are not just internal to St. Peter’s, but also have a global dimension that connects Ignatian educators around the world.  Indeed, by working together on the Global Citizenship course, teachers gain an experience of collaborating with others across disciplines and share wisdom and ideas through their conversation.

In what ways do you think the students at St. Peter’s Prep have benefitted from your faculty’s formation in Ignatian Global Citizenship?

Anytime teachers have had an experience of global collaboration through the Jesuit network, they bring that experience to the classroom either through their greater awareness of global citizenship and how that plays out for us as educators, but also very often through direct classroom connections with schools in the network.  And that, in turn, broadens the global consciousness of our students and their organic understanding that being a student at a Jesuit school also means that they are part of something much larger than their campus.

What advice or encouragement would you give to other schools considering organizing groups of faculty members to complete the Ignatian Global Citizenship course together?

I would encourage schools to view the Global Citizenship course first with the academic leaders and see how the goals and objectives can be leveraged to enhance already existing programs of faculty and staff orientation and formation programs.  That is, how can the course enhance and deepen the Ignatian character of our work as colleagues.  Then, I suggest that the leaders make a commitment to broadening the scope of those existing programs to include a global dimension that reinforces the connection to the larger mission of Jesuit education and explore ways it can be expressed on your local level as a school.

And finally, why, in your view, is formation in Ignatian Global Citizenship so important?

Understanding, and more importantly, experiencing global citizenship and internalizing the many benefits of a global vision of education will empower teachers to understand the world and their place in it differently by challenging all to deepen their awareness of similarities and differences across cultures and work toward developing a sense of appreciation and understanding that can bridge any divides.

Global citizenship, which encourages attitudes of inquiry and empathy, calls forth the best in a school community, fostering continuous growth and development that will help strengthen and sustain our shared Ignatian mission.