The Method of Jesuit Education – 25th Anniversary of the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm

It has been 25 years since the publication of the document “Ignatian Pedagogy: A Practical Approach“, and to celebrate we would like to share a video Keynote that compiles different IPP experiences and stories from the Jesuit regions of the world.

In his video contribution Fr. José Mesa, SJ, the Secretary for Education highlights the importance of the IPP process:

The best thing about Ignatian Pedagogy is that it continues to help us teachers to be attentive to the learners as the real centre of the educational process”.

Fr. Mesa also refers to Fr. General Arturo Sosa’s speech at JESEDU-Rio2017 Congress where the General highlights innovation as one of the main challenges of Jesuit education today:

It is important for our institutions to be spaces for educational investigation, true laboratories in innovation in teaching, from which we can draw new teaching methods or models.”  

Rodelyn Villaces-Roiles, shares her story by explaining how it not only teaches concepts but also allows students to reflect on experiences.

In my Math classes the IPP allows students to explore new concepts using previously learned lessons and acquired skills”.

Alven Rey Labadan and Nancy Toledo also from Sacred Heart School explain the IPP as a way of life and as a great tool for teaching students not just academic skills but for teaching them to be Contemplatives-in-Action.

The video Keynote also features the IPP from a Buddhist Context, presented by Fr. Quyen Vu, SJ from Xavier Jesuit School, Sisophon in Cambodia, IPP stories from the Jesuit education community in Australia and a video from Colégio de Santo Inácio de Loiola (CSIL), Timor Leste. 

Fr. Thomas V. Kunnunkal, a well known Jesuit missionary, social and human rights activist and eminent educationist, is one of the pioneers who built the foundations for a strong open and distance education system in India. Fr. Kunnumkal encourages Jesuit schools in India and further afield to make learning context-based. He highlights that most of our learning is head level learning, the IPP encourages us to make it also a heart level learning and to make it experience based. For an experience-based learning reflection is essential, which in turn should be followed by action. Then with the step of evaluation, looking at ‘how it has gone’ students complete the learning cycle. In today’s “learning revolution” technology should also be used effectively to support education. The IPP is called an “integral paradigm” to be used in the classroom but also in teacher formation. Continuous formation for teachers is essential, they must continuously learn, unlearn and relearn.

Other contributions from India celebrating the IPP include educators from schools such as St. Xavier’s Kolhapur, St. Xavier’s Hazaribag and Dnyanamata Convent School in Sangmner. 

Further contributions come from Fr. Bill Muller SJ, the Executive Director of JSN-North America and Ms. Ilse Dekker, the Director of JECSE-Europe highlighting experiences of practicing the IPP in their respective regions. 

The Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm 1993 document offered Jesuit schools an approach to teaching and learning based on the principles of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. It was a timely response to numerous requests for help on how educators could teach in a more distinctly Ignatian manner and effectively impart to their students the Ignatian worldview and values discussed in an earlier seminal document called “The Characteristics of Jesuit Education” (1986). Since then, educators in Jesuit schools around the world have been working hard to develop the use of the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm (or IPP) in their classrooms.

Efforts have been made to train educators in the foundations and application of the IPP. The creativity of many educators has led them to experience the application of the five key components of Jesuit teaching and learning:  Context, Experience, Action, Reflection and Evaluation. This document was an important step toward the realization of the Jesuit educational mission, which allowed pedagogical renewal in many Jesuit educational institutions and continues to be a source of inspiration promoting the active participation of students in their own learning.


Illustration from Ignatian Pedagogy (An abridged version), Jesuit Institute, London.


These celebratory videos give a rich and diverse picture of the creativity of educators and schools using the IPP as a model for teaching and learning. 

You are very welcome to share your experience of practicing the IPP in your school with the global community! For this please use the conversation area below.