Jesuit Pedagogy Seminar
The seminar meets six times over the course of the spring semester and provides a structure for reading, reflection, discussion and experimentation. As part of the seminar, graduate students are mentored by faculty members who are excellent undergraduate teachers themselves. The mentors are chosen from across the Arts and Sciences, and paired across disciplines. A biologist may be paired with a philosopher, while an economist may be paired with a theologian. This cross-disciplinary pairing helps to enforce the understanding that Igantian Pedagogical principles are not limited to just one field or one group such as the humanities. Mentors and graduate students visit each others' classrooms and exchange syllabi, lesson plans, and grading samples. They then meet to discuss their observation.
The conclusion of the seminar is marked with a public forum in which each participant presents a final project, examining a characteristic of Jesuit Pedagogy and applying it within the framework of the course that he or she is currently teaching. The forum allows mentors and those outside of the seminar to witness the work that has been done by the participant within the smaller meetings, and in addition offers the presenter a chance to reflect upon the project and the context in the larger community.
In their evaluations of the seminar, participants report feeling a stronger connection to the Jesuit tradition, their fellow graduate students in other disciplines and the students they teach. In addtion, one student shares that "...my strongest course evaluations came from students whom I was teaching art the time that I took this seminar." Another students comments, "I received some of the best final papers I have ever received. This would not have been possible without the broader context and general attitude of thinking holistically about education." Finally, another says "...when I develop things for class now I have a [an] Ignatian cycle in mind: context, experience, reflection, action, evaluation. I also actively work at introducing ideas of justice in the class."
This spring's Jesuit Pedagogy will once again bring graduate student teachers together from the departments as diverse as Biology, Economics, English, History, Philosophy, and Theology.
Look for more information about the public forum to be held later this spring and make plans to attend.