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The Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm


This is the end of my first week at Seattle University and it has already been pretty exciting, primarily because I’ve had a chance to learn more about the Jesuit tradition of education. For an instructional designer interested in ePortfolios reading the 450-year-old Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm feels like coming home. The five elements of the IPP (as outlined in Wikipedia) are: Context The student needs to consider his or her own real life, family, socio-economic, cultural and political circumstances along with prior learning and points of view. Feelings and attitudes regarding the subject matter also form part of the real context for learning. Experience The learning experience is expected to move beyond rote knowledge to the development of the more complex learning skills of understanding, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. We use the term experience to describe any activity in which in addition to a cognitive grasp of the matter being considered, some sensation of an affective nature is registered by the student. Reflection This is the fundamental key to the paradigm. Reflection means thoughtful reconsideration of subject matter, an experience, an idea, a purpose or a spontaneous reaction, that its significance may be more fully grasped. Reflection is how meaning becomes apparent in human experience. Memory, understanding, imagination and feelings are used to perceive meaning and value in the subject matter, and to discover connections with other forms of knowledge and activity, and to understand its implications in the further search for truth and liberty. Action Jesuit education is not meant to end in mere personal satisfaction. It is meant to move the learner to act. The goal is not merely to educate the mind, but to change the person into a better, more caring human with a developed conscience. Evaluation Periodic evaluation of the learner's growth is essential. It measures more than intellectual success, artistic talent, or athletic ability. Evaluation is to assess those things, but it is also to produce an awareness of the real needs yet unmet, as well as to understand the learner's own moral growth.

How perfectly beautiful is that? I cannot remember anything that has so closely articulated my own feeling about learning. I am looking forward to contributing to this mission.

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