This unit will explore the implications of the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm for future orientations in Jesuit education. The defining elements of Ignatian Pedagogy (Reflection and Action) will be examined through the concept of Refractive Learning – that is, learning to ‘bend’ content so that it is appropriated for one’s own unique experience and context as well as learning from the best practice of other Jesuit schools throughout the world. The proposed model is Learner-Centered, Reflection-Driven, and Action-Oriented. The unit will enable practitioners to reflect on, and wrestle with, Jesuit pedagogical concepts and theories so that Jesuit schools can offer a genuinely transformative and holistic education that is relevant to the twenty-first century and capable of being adapted for future paradigm shifts.

Unit code: DR9401J

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Religious Education

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Jesuit College of Spirituality

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Learning outcomes


Articulate the close connection between Ignatian pedagogy and the Spiritual Exercises


Define and critically evaluate the core concepts and values of Refractive Learning


Apply knowledge of the core characteristics of Refractive Learning to specific ministry and vocational contexts


Evaluate the implications of Learner-centered, Reflection-driven and Action-Oriented learning and teaching for educational practices


Formulate a reasoned vision for future possibilities and trends in Jesuit education


A significant proportion of each lecture will be devoted to: (i) the lecturer’s input, (ii) guided reading, (iii) personal reflection, and (iv) facilitated interaction in small groups.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Duminuco, Vincent, Ed. The Jesuit Ratio Studiorum of 1599: 400th Anniversary Perspectives. New York: Fordham University Press, 2000.
  • Boss, Suzie, John Larmer, John R. Mergendoller. PBL for 21st Century Success: Teaching Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication and Creativity. Novato, CA: Buck Institute for Education, 2015.
  • Carbine, Rosemary P., and Kathleen Dolphin.Women, Wisdom and Witness: Engaging Contexts in Conversation. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2012.
  • Ignatian Pedagogy: A Practical Approach. The International Centre for Jesuit Education in Rome, 1993.
  • Kolvenbach, Peter-Hans. The Characteristics of Jesuit Education. Anand, Gujarat: Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 1987.
  • Mesa, José, ed. Ignatian Pedagogy: Classic and Contemporary Texts on Jesuit Education from St. Ignatius to Today. Chicago IL: Loyola Press, 2017.
  • Ritchhart, Ron, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison. Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding and Independence for All Learners*. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2011.
  • Sousa, David A. and Carol A. Tomlinson. Differentiation and the Brain: How Neuroscience Supports the Learner-Friendly Classroom. Moorabbin: Hawker Brownlow, 2010.
  • Schwartz, Howard S. "The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action." Administrative Science Quarterly. 32, no. 4 (1987): 614-17.
  • Traub, George, ed. A Jesuit Education Reader: contemporary Writings on the Jesuit Mission in Education, Principles, the Issue of Catholic Identity, Practical Applications of the Ignatian Way and More. Chicago IL: Loyola Press, 2017


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay (4,000 words) based on a range of topics which assess outcomes not already assessed in previous assessments

4000 50.0
Personal Reflection

Written reflection on Refractive Learning (2000 words)

2000 25.0
Oral Presentation

15 minute Presentation which applies the principles of Refractive Learning to the student’s personal context (1500 words equivalent)

1500 25.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 26 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2019-11-12 14:26:19 +1100