Last January 18 to 20, Fr. Johnny Go SJ visited Xavier Learning Community to conduct an introductory workshop on Jesuit education and Ignatian Pedagogy. In attendance at the workshop were XLC teachers as well as selected third-year students taking up Tourism and English Language Teaching.
In this article we would like to share a walk through the two-day workshop that was originally shared on Ateneo SALT Institute’s website, which is a consortium of schools, departments, and centers engaged in teacher education and training.
The two-day workshop began with an overview of the history and tradition of Jesuit education, with the Universal Apostolic Preferences as a lens to appreciate the Jesuit mission of education in the 21st century. The second day focused on Ignatian Pedagogy, where Fr. Go showed how its emphasis on Reflection and Action make it relevant to the digital age, when understanding and application are essential elements of 21st-century education.
The students seemed quite engaged in the workshop discussions, sharing ideas and questions with both their classmates and teachers. Though only three year old, Xavier Learning Community is committed to building the Ignatian character not only of its programs, but also, most especially and crucially, its young school culture.
The workshop introduced the key elements of Jesuit education and Ignatian pedagogy, but its value lay in the participants’ reflection on their programs, policies, practices, and school culture.
What struck Fr. Go was the confidence and willingness of the students to participate, especially considering that their teachers and the Jesuits were also participating in the same workshop–including the Jesuit Regional Superior of Thailand, Fr. Pitoyo SJ himself.
On the break day between the two sessions, Fr. Go had the opportunity to see some of the sights in Chiang Rai, such as the well-known and understandably crowded White Temple as well as the lovely and serene Choui Fong Tea Plantation.
Zen, one of the third year students, offered his reflections at the end of the workshop. He spoke of the value of reflection in his life, how it changed him from a person who was accustomed to blaming others to someone who would first examine himself deeply before making conclusions.
There is a powerful and positive energy in Xavier Learning Community that is profoundly inspiring, thanks to its students, the teachers, and the Jesuits working tirelessly there. It has a unique mission of offering the Jesuit brand of education to the marginalized hill tribe peoples living in the Golden Triangle.
More power and more blessings to XLC!