An ever present and significant challenge for Jesuit schools is to provide an academic program that creates and fosters in their students a genuine love of learning and to achieve the deeper purpose of forming and transforming them into young men and women of depth, who have a strong faith and set of values and a desire to put their life at the service of others.
This involves a commitment to the underlying Ignatian values and principles that underpin our schools and a determination to ensure that this shapes the academic programs that exist in our Jesuit schools. Standardised testing and the importance of physical outcomes in a competitive educational landscape, coupled with mandated requirements from local, state and national governing bodies can make it difficult to draw on our core Ignatian values and our underlying Ignatian Pedagogy.
Yet it has never been more important in an increasingly individualistic world and in the context of the ‘globalisation of superficiality’, as described by Fr Adolfo Nicolas SJ. It requires an unwavering commitment to the deeper propose of a Jesuit education and creating opportunities for teachers to engage in meaningful reflection and conversation about their own practice. (Introduction by Adam Lewis, Director of Xavier College’s Senior Campus).
In this blog series entitled “Conversations in Context: Teaching and Learning in a Jesuit School” or in short “Teaching and Learning in Context” we present articles written by Melinda Roberts. These originally appeared in Xavier College’s fortnightly newsletter, written for the school community and published on the school website. We are happy to share these with the wider Jesuit education community.
Melinda Roberts is the Head of Teaching & Learning at Xavier College in Melbourne, an all-boys Jesuit high school in Australia. In the last twelve months, she has led a number of significant changes at a physical, philosophical and ultimately cultural level, with the aim of ensuring Xavier remains committed to its mission of excellence in education and the formation of reflective, compassionate and articulate men and women of Christian faith, hope and love who will provide outstanding service and leadership in our world, while still producing excellent academic results. Her articles in this blog series provide an insight into this challenge, one which is invariably shared by Jesuit schools across the globe.