The Key Leaders of Learning and the Ignatian Coordinators from Jesuit and Companion Schools Australia were engaged in a four-day workshop entitled “Learning by Refraction: A Practitioner’s Guide to 21st Century Ignatian Pedagogy.” The workshop was held at St. Peter Canisius House, Pymble, Australia from the 23rd to the 27th of February 2020.
The workshop was organized by Jesuit Education Australia and facilitated by Fr Johnny Go SJ, co-author of a book by the same name. Fr Johnny is currently the Director of the Ateneo de Manila Institute for the Science and Art of Learning and Teaching (SALT), Education Secretary for the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific, and Global Assistant for the Mission and Identity for Jesuit Secondary and Presecondary Jesuit education.
Consistent with the original approach of the Jesuits to education, the workshop provided an opportunity to look at the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm through the use of best 21st century practises and creative new ideas in order to strengthen engagement through Reflection and promote excellence through Action. The workshop was interactive and provided much opportunity for participants to develop new ideas and share practices of their own.
The workshop’s approach was Reflective Practice, always beginning with the participants contextualizing the different ideas and concepts in their schools as they reflected on their own teaching practice.
The key audience for this workshop –- the Key Leaders of Learning and the Ignatian Coordinators — was deliberate in that these two groups play a crucial role in our schools to promote the distinctiveness of Jesuit education – which is the interconnection of Ignatian spirituality with education.
The workshop included a lot of discussion, both in the plenary sessions and small groups, enabling participants to learn from their fellow practitioners.
To start off the workshop, Fr Ross Jones SJ, Rector of St. Aloysius Sydney, shared his insights on Ignatian Excellence and Wonder, while Jennie Hickey, Executive Officer of Jesuit Education Australia (JEA), presented on Globalisation and building reconciliation.
As always, Fr. Ross offered fresh insights into the Jesuit notion of Competence and Excellence, and the necessity of instilling Wonder among the learners entrusted to our care.
The following comments from some of the participants highlight the learnings from the weekend.
The workshops have informed my understanding of how the IPP encompasses contemporary learning. The sessions on the first provided the big picture of the “why” and the sessions on Reflection and Action provided the “how” and they focused on the deeper intentions of both Reflection and Action. The workshops have provided the opportunity to use the previous iteration of IPP as building blocks for this re-imagining of the IPP and to enable teachers to develop students critical thinking, depth and excellence. Sharon McLean, St. Ignatius Riverview
Participants took the opportunity to watch a video from the JESEDU Virtual Colloquium on Educate Magis to reflect on the UAPs and its relevance to our mission and the IPP.
There were many useful elements but I did find the sessions on reflection and action particularly helpful in terms of providing ways to transform Ignatian learning and teaching for the school. The presentations by Ross Jones were enriching, especially unpacking Ignatian excellence as this is one of the four school values we have chosen to distinguish Saint Ignatius College Geelong as we grow and develop our school. Annette Chidsey, St. Ignatius Geelong
If people were disgruntled with the ‘old’ IPP, Fr. Johnny has given it plenty of ideas for renewal. Anthony Wentsell , St. Ignatius Adelaide
I used to think that] the IPP was primarily in the RE domain. Now I am enlightened to know that it is at the core of quality teaching and learning and curriculum implementation. Jennifer Walker, St. Aloysius Sydney
One principle used at the workshop was “learning by doing”–and the participants did just that! I would like more of our Heads of Learning to our next meeting to listen and partake in our conversation and journey. Suzanne Pola, Loyola College Watsonia
The participants putting their heads together to brainstorm how best to share what they have learned with their colleagues in their respective schools.
The workbook, Learning by Refraction: A Practitioner’s Guide to 21st-Century Ignatian Pedagogy, by Johnny C. Go SJ and Rita J. Atienza, may be ordered and purchased through the Ateneo de Manila University Press. A Kindle version is also available on Amazon.
Article originally published in jcapedu.org