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Religious Life: Augustinian Curriculum and Pedagogy

Augustinian Curriculum and Pedagogy

Context: This brief paper reflects on the Gateway values to draw out the particular emphases of the Augustinian world view, and how this profound way of looking impacts on pedagogy and curriculum.

Theology:

  • An entirely gracious, Trinitarian God searches for us in our fallen restlessness, through the Inner Teacher (“You are more near to me than I am to myself”), through community, and through Scripture (Tolle lege).

Anthropology:

  • “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord…” Our Inner Teacher is also a restless heart continually calling us to a search for truth (for God) that requires “twin supports” of both faith and reason. Reason alone is insufficient – “If you have understood, then it is not God.” The Inner Teacher makes each student and staff member worthy of the utmost respect, as we can look within to know we are made in God’s image.
  • We are made for relationship and learn best by forming community.
  • We learn in order to act. Our mission is to acquire wisdom to transform the world: “to those who have, more will be given”.

Implications for Practice:

Epistemology/ Curriculum: The Search for Truth

  • Objective truth is found in each discipline. Truth conquers or liberates wherever it is found. Study of the “Book of the World” draws us to God.
  • The deepest truths about God and the world require faith to help raise our horizon. The deepest truths have a mysterious dimension – to be gleaned by humble fishermen as well as scholars. In God’s Kingdom, each person is a capable learner.  
  • The individual tests acquired knowledge against the Inner Teacher and also in community. This is how we “learn” more in our search for meaning.

Pedagogy:

  • More learning occurs when we form community and habitually appeal to the Inner Teacher. Students integrate knowledge into their own search for meaning (cf Our Augustinian Heritage)
  • The search for Truth is aided by good habits of mind and heart.