Class to teach faculty about Ignatian pedagogy

Class to teach faculty about Ignatian pedagogy

Gary Leverton, Higher Education Reporter

A blended course on Jesuit education, Ignatian pedagogy and the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm will be offered to faculty in the spring 2016 semester.

Susan Mountin and Maureen McAvoy will teach the class. Mountin, the director of Manresa for Faculty, will focus on what it means to teach at a Jesuit institution. McAvoy, a College of Professional Studies professor, will focus on the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm.

“The purpose of the course is to inform faculty that there is a unique dimension to a MU education and that is Ignatian Pedagogy,” McAvoy said. “The model (Jesuits) designed is the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm, IPP.”

McAvoy said the course will be divided into five modules based on five constructs of the IPP: context, experience, reflection, action and evaluation. She said all modules have threaded discussion posts, an individual learning activity and a reflection activity.

“When you purchase a Marquette education, you’re getting a unique experience,” McAvoy said. “The course exposes faculty to the theological, philosophical, spiritual underpinnings of the Jesuit educational mission and the real time mission of a Marquette education, which a faculty member then can use to teach their students.”

The course will start with the history of Ignatius and Jesuit education, and then move deeper into principles of a Jesuit education and contemporary principles of Jesuit education. It will finish with a focus on Marquette’s mission and applying IPP to teaching.

Mountin said the course has been around since 2001 but the online components are new additions. She previously led discussions about the course’s topics in small groups of faculty learning community members. Although Mountin said she loved those discussions, the online aspect will keep faculty more focused on the readings and responding to each other.

The course will include five online modules and a week of reflection between each one. Mountin said that is key to understanding what faculty members learn, and it allows them to absorb the course material.

“Ignatius talks about (how) making good decisions are like water on a sponge compared to water on a rock,” Mountin said. “This metaphor can be applied to the reflection component of the IPP philosophy.”

The online course was piloted last semester and became an official course after its success. Marilyn Frenn, a nursing professor involved in the pilot, said she really enjoyed the course.

“I appreciated the book and many readings and my colleagues in the course provided great insights,” Frenn said in an email. “With their permission, I developed the IPP for Interprofessional Education that we use for modules developed through a Way Klingler award for teaching. I am also using it in classes as a way to facilitate students’ reflection on their experiences.”

McAvoy said she thinks the course will not only have an impact on faculty, but students as well because it’s a dimension that differentiates the Jesuit education from others.

“Instructors need to know this so they can then move into the action phase which is actually using the IPP as a reflective practice to discern whether their teaching pedagogy and instructional strategies align with the mission of Jesuit education,” McAcoy said. “This mission is to transform the students’ intellectual gifts through instruction of course content so that they are successful in their careers and to assist them to discern their role in the world in service to others.”