2019 Term 2 Week 8

2019 Term 2 Week 8

Head of Studies and Innovation

I am constantly in awe of how innovative and advanced the Jesuits have been in the education domain over the years. We live in an educational time where there is a strong urge to acquire not only content knowledge but cognitive and human competencies (often referred to as capabilities), built on attitudes and values. This need will ensure that we not only prepare our students for their future working lives, but also for life itself. Recently, the OECD defined competencies as “… a holistic concept that includes knowledge, skills, values and attitudes.” (OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 − Concept note: OECD Learning Compass 2030, 2019) Furthermore,

 “The concept of competency implies more than just the acquisition of knowledge and skills; it involves the mobilisation of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to meet complex demands. Acquiring these competencies leads to desirable individual development and well-being, and to flourishing cultures and societies.” (OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 − Concept note: Attitudes and Values for 2030, 2019, p. 10)

However, the notion that competency is built on a deep set of values and attitudes is nothing new to Jesuit education:

“Increasingly, it becomes clear that if we in Jesuit education are to exercise a moral force in society, we must insist that the process of education takes place in a moral as well as an intellectual framework of inquiry.” (Jesuit Institute 2014)

In many ways, this is what sets us apart as an educational institution. Framing what we do and how we do it through a distinct ‘moral lens’ is at the heart of an Ignatian education. Recently, Father Hosking led a team of enthusiastic staff in developing a set of virtues for our College. The six pairs of virtues are in many ways a contemporary expression of our desire to produce the ‘graduate at graduation’ (Grad @ Grad).

These virtues will play an important role in the total formation of all students in the College. Importantly, they will play a significant role in how we undertake teaching and learning in the College. One cannot develop the necessary ‘cognitive and human competencies’ of the future without the influence of the virtues, because it is these virtues that shape the ‘attitudes and values’ of our students, which will be expressed through the thoughts and actions they demonstrate in their learning.

The importance of ‘learning’ occurring within a moral lens is essential if we are going to produce young men and women who will go forth and make a difference in the world. Fortunately, the Jesuits have been aware of this for a very long time, giving Ignatian education a distinct ‘flavour’. However, it is important that we continue to ensure that our virtues are expressed and observed in all that we do.

 

Mr Kain Noack
Head of Studies and Innovation