Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ

"Transformative Education: A Work of Justice, A Work of Love, and A Work in Partnership"

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YouTube Video (slide #8) -

Speaker Notes:

Questions for Discussion:

Notes during presentation:

Introduction by Sr. Rose Sun
Kathleen...help us to:
understand the essentials
connect the internationality
help us to be forward looking in the heart of Jesus and the spirit of St. Madeleine Sophie

Gather as educators is a gift and a responsbiliity, explore how the Society may serve more deliberately in our institutions as well as ourselves.

Dialog on theme of Transformative Education
-have considered demands
-examined the impact of technology

Perspective of the Society: Madeleine Sophie Barat, Janet Erskine Stuart, and the Chapter

The Child (we educate)
The "material cause"
Recent history: celebrated bicenntial in 2000 with General Chapter in Amiens
Theme - Our edcuational mission (A pathway)
First International Heads -- Joigny (first international gathering) -- came together due to unique relationship to Society and to the responsiblity of keeping the mission alive
Year 2000 -- beginning of the 3rd era of globalization which shrunk to size of the globe -- not built around countries or companies, but built around individuals
Dynamic is the individual or small group

We were not unaware of this "globalization." "An infinity of issues vying for our attention, but the overarching...
shrinking space
shrinking time
grappling with issues of justice
in formulating goals and strategies must identify global identity --

access to the benefits of education
the right to belong to the global society
struggle of women and equality in society and the Church
spiritual values

Millennium Goals (http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/)

Information explosion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8W1WuxGniE)

Using the word “child” deliberately because child is the word used almost without exception by both Madeleine Sophie Barat and Janet Erskine Stuart when speaking of the young people in the school, not the word pupil or student. These latter terms suggest that education has to do with the relationship between a teacher and a student which takes place in a classroom or lab and is primarily intellectual. For Sophie and Janet the term “child” captured the whole of the person – mind, body and spirit. It also suggested a way of thinking about the quality of the relationship between the child and the one who would educate. Sophie once said: “What is needed for winning […] children is to be busy about them, to be at their service, to listen to them with interest, to console and to encourage them….to become for their sakes gentle, patient, indulgent, in one word, a mother.”

So, who are the children today in our classrooms? Here’s a composite picture. In order to make a few generalizations, I have narrowed this category to those of secondary school age and immediately beyond. First of all, youth are increasingly members of a single youth culture: There is a common culture which is reaching beyond language, nationality, and religion. It is reaching the electronically connected faster, of course, but TV and film are also bearers of the youth culture identity.
To speak today of a global youth culture suggest that young people in India have more in common with young people from New Zealand than with their own parents. Due to the influence of media, the internet, technology , and increased travel, there are common ways of being and living, a common sharing of information and ideas. There are common styles of music and clothing, common media interests, dance, and material possessions. This population of the young and web savvy has grown into the hundreds of millions. And speaking of web savvy, youth have left their parents and teachers behind. We call them digital natives. They know the language and the grammar of this new land. The rest of us are more like immigrants in a foreign country, speaking, at best, with a thick accent. It’s an interesting role reversal to consider. Among youth, there is developing a common value system: friends are more important than family though some have friends they have never met face to face; respect for authority has to be earned; relationships are everything though casual relationships and casual sex abound. in terms of faith, youth today are highly selective. Few believe everything in the religion of their parents; rather they edit for their own reality, sometimes slicing and dicing a pastiche of
elements from several religions. But here is an interesting fact: the films that attract the young worldwide are filled with ritual and mystery. Among the top grossing films of all time in this age category are Avatar, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and the Lord of the Rings. What are we to make of this? Clearly young people are drawn to the realm of the spiritual.
Certainly, many young people have a passion for justice and a concern for the future of the planet; many, too, want to give their lives generously in service to others an to make a difference in the world.
Though they might not call it this, they experience in their bones a mission, a call to make a difference in the world. They know they have a mission which only they can fulfill.

The curriculum
The "formal cause"
Nearly from the first days of the Society of the Sacred Heart, there was a Plan of Studies which expressed the content, method and spirit of the curriculum. The first such plan, implemented in 1805, breathed the same spirit as the Ratio Studiorum of the Society of Jesus, a not unlikely event since founding RSCJ were in close contact with learned Jesuit schoolmasters. But while our Plan of Studies adopted and assimilated Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy, Sophie’s Plan was “…more open-ended and flexible: a liberal arts education with theology at its core; structured on philosophy, literature and history, and humanistic in its content, with an integration of sciences and practical skills.10 Reflecting Sophie’s more feminine design, pupils were also taught drawing, needlework, instrumental music, and singing.
In planning her curriculum thus, Sophie demonstrated her willingness to revise hercurriculum beyond the then rigidity of the Jesuit model which did not satisfy her. According to Margaret Williams, “The great value of her educational plan, during a time when young women were so poorly educated, was not so much the content of her curriculum but the quality of it and her insistence on a pedagogy that stressed strong character formation. I can only assume Sophie would delight in the conversations and the growing body of literature today on the topic; of character formation and the particular qualities young people need to develop for a whole and human life such as wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence.

Yong Zhao (Chinese educator)

*The affective dimension, also called the ethical dimension, refers to a positive disposition towards cultural difference and a framework of global values to engage difference.
*The action dimension, also called the skill dimension, refers primarily to the ability to speak, understand and think in a foreign language.
*The academic dimension has to do with knowledge of the world, hence is also referred to as the disciplinary and interdisciplinary dimension, which includes deep knowledge and understanding of world history, geography, the global dimension of topics such as health, climate, and economics, and the process of globalization itself.
Zhao also provides a model of digital competence which includes four broad categories: knowledge of the nature of the virtual world; a positive attitude towards the digital world; the ability to use different tools to participate and lead in the virtual world; and the ability to create products for the virtual world.
The formation of the educator
The "efficient cause"

Janet Stuart’s efficient cause of education – the person of the educator -- include every adult in each of our communities, whether in or out of the classroom, or in the business office or lunch room or caring for the grounds or promoting equity and justice or performing any of the numerous other support services needed for the smooth functioning of a school community. How we relate to one another, how we create a community where everyone can flourish, how we communicate with respect and kindness, make decisions for the common good, act with justice…all of it is part of being a Sacred Heart educator, no matter our role. Every single person in the adult community is part of the transformative educational experience of the students entrusted to us.

MSB -- looking for two characteristics: wise and well-trained professionals, whatever our particular role in the institution, and men and women who care deeply about our own spiritual formation and our life with God. In a word, Sophie wanted companions who would carry out her educational vision to be persons of professional competence and persons committed to the holy life.

make sure that our teaching would preserve its progressiveness, its cultured breadth, its lofty scope, while losing nothing of its orthodoxy or its beautiful uniformity and, concurrently, being perfectly suited to the times
Professional competence, however, is not enough. A Sacred Heart educator must also be committed to his or her own inner journey into God. We may use words like integrity or authenticity or self-transcendence; we may be striving for mindfulness or hoping for transformation. We may not be comfortable using words at all but just have a felt sense of something greater than ourselves drawing us to live a more human and balanced life. All of the ingredients of the holy life are there in our deepest desires and only require of us three things: that we learn to pay attention; that we identify the deepest hungers of our hearts as spiritual longings; and that we open ourselves more fully to the divine.
How does all this happen?
How does one become a sainte savante?
How does one develop one’s spiritual generativity?
What do you look for when you hire a new employee?
What formation to mission opportunities do you build into the school year?
How does the spirit, mission and educational vision of Sophie and her followers become available to faculty and staff,
administration and trustees?
What opportunities do you offer so that it can be appropriated over time?
Have you been satisfied by the collaboration you have experienced in the last eleven years?
What models of formation have proved helpful?
What more must be done?
The goal of education
The "final cause"

Perhaps you have been wondering if I would ever get around to justice, peace and the integrity of creation. But I believe we have been looking at these realities throughout this talk.
Isn’t education itself an act of justice?
Isn’t education a foundation for peace?
Doesn’t education instill in us a new spiritual vision of the universe and our place within it?
Isn’t the end of education, in reality, the establishment of the reign of God?
Chapter 2008
find ways to be touched by the poverty, inequality, exclusion, violence, and environmental destruction that are present in today’s world.
It urged us “…to take responsibility to orient all our educative endeavors towards creating relationships of equality, inclusion, non-violence, and harmony, believing that to have life, and life in abundance, is the deepest desire of God.” It also lifted up the daily efforts of men and women in search of a better world and it stated tha “…with them, strengthened by the Spirit, we want to continue finding the face of God in the future towards which we journey.”
The Integrity of Creation embraces scores of particular issues which have captured our imagination and our passion in these recent years: global warming and climate science, water use, renewable energy, ecology, conservation, species preservation, sustainability, waste management, and in general, caring for our environment and recognizing our interdependent presence within the world.
Judy Cannato --
Field of Compassion: How the New Science is Transforming Spiritual Life
The universe story is one of cosmogenesis, a single creative event from which all life has emerged. The Christian story is one of connectedness as well. The creation event is interpreted as a single act of divine grace that is integral to the world as a whole, climaxing in a profound experience of unity in the Incarnation, for in the Incarnation divine revelation and human acceptance merge. Within the Christian story the image of the kingdom of God proposes that the connectedness at the heart of all creation be lived out tangibly, in the here and now, in the quality of relationships around us.

Each of us has a role and bears a responsibility for the continuing unfolding of the universe. We are called to be co-creators with God. Isn’t that what we imply when we speak of our work of education as “…a participation in God’s work of transformation.
from Judy Cannato -- "Compassion changes everything. Compassion heals. Compassion mends the broken and restores what has been lost. Compassion draws together those who have been estranged or never even dreamed they were connected. Compassion pulls us out of ourselves and into the heart of another, placing us on holy ground where we instinctively take off our shoes and walk in reverence. Compassion springs out of vulnerability and triumphs in unity."
Compassion is the character trait above all others that we need to instill in our young people and foster in ourselves. Compassion is the overarching “competency” as we face the challenges of globalization. Compassion leads us to consider how our international network of schools can be good news for the poor. Compassion dictates our choices and undergirds our hopes for the future of this network and, indeed, for the future of this planet.

Our International Network of Sacred Heart Schools…a field of compassion


Sublime work in love: make God's love know through service of education
Perspective of the Society/ structure of J E Stuart conference at Maryville
-- the child (material cause)
-- the curriculum (formal cause)
-- the educator (efficient cause)
-- the goal of education (final cause)

The Context
- Society 200th in Amiens General Chapter: educational mission
- First International Heads in Joigny the year prior to the General Chapter
- Thomas Friedman: 3rd era of globalization
-- 1492-1800: colonization: countries large
-- **1800-200**: companies, world shrinking. Small
-- 2000- : individuals and small groups. Tiny. No country or region untouched by globalization.

Challenges of globizalization to mission of transformative education (chapter 2000)
-information explosion
- video on Youtube: "Did you know?" 2010

The Child: the material cause
- child captures whole of person: body, mind, spirit for MSB and JES
-- global youthculture:
common styles, digital natives, common value system (friends more valued than family),
-- drawn to the realm of the spiritual (Lord of thr Rings): religion and spirituality different but of similar value
---- activities in silence
---- activities in service toward others
---- passion for justice: a mission only they can fulfill

The Education: the formal cause
- Plan of Studies
-- flexibility, liberal arts with science and practical skills integrated
-- the importance of the arts
-- quality over content
-- character formation
- Spirit of Plan of Studies (1950s)
-- common mission
-- common spirit
-- shared principles and values
-- broad purposes

Competences for building community
Competences for the digital world

The Educator: the efficient cause (all are SH Educators, not just the teachers)
MSB's Construct for the Educator:
- everyone is part of the transformative experience of the children
- "saints savants" - holy scholars
-- professional competence and commitment to the holy life
---- rigorous intellectual formation
---- strong instinct for community
---- concern for others, disadvantaged
---- formation of character in freedom
---- life of faith
* be a mother to the children

Commitment to the God Quest
- spiritual generate ity
- importance of formation to mission: crucial to insure the vitality of the mission

The End of Education: the final cause
"All of education is an act of justice"
- an act of justice
- a foundation for peace
- new spiritual vision
- establishment of reign of God

The Integrity of Creation (includes justice and peace)
- particular issues facing planet: so much on the environment
- "a new narrative: the universe story"
-- no separation between humanity and the universe that brings us into being
-- making consistent, conscious choices for good
- Judy Cannoto, the universe story (relying upon Karl Rahner)
--- connectedness to the heart of all creation
--- co-creators with God (heart of transformative education )
--- "compassion changes everything"
---- a quality
---- an organizing principle
---- a character trait
---- overarching competence for globalization
---- a challenge to be good news for the poor

network: a field of compassion for the world
(Gerry Grossman)