This is the final installment of the previous posts: Part I and Part II: Characteristics of Jesuit Education.
21. Jesuit education pursues excellence in its work of formation. Jesuit education aims at the fullest possible development of every dimension of the person, linked to the willingness to continue this development throughout life and the motivation to use those developed gifts for others. Students are expected to become leaders in service rather than socio-economic elites. Service is founded on a faith commitment to God, a decision to follow Christ, which leads to a desire to always do “more.” The desire is converted into the necessary personal preparation in which a student dedicates himself or herself to the pursuit of academic excellence, to personal formation, and ultimately to action.
22. Jesuit education witnesses to excellence. The school policies are such that they create a climate which will promote excellence. The adult members of the educational community witness to excellence by joining growth in professional competence to growth in dedication.
23. Jesuit education stresses lay-Jesuit collaboration. Lay people and Jesuits, in different appropriate capacities, share a common mission and work together as a single apostolic body in the formation of students. The legal structure of the school allows for the fullest possible collaboration in the management of the school.
24. Jesuit education relies on a spirit of community among teaching staff and administrators, the Jesuit community, governing boards, parents, former students, and benefactors. There should be free and frequent communication, including formal discussions and social gatherings, between different parties that make up the school in an attempt to implement the characteristics that result from the Ignatian vision.
25. Jesuit education takes place within a structure that promotes community. A Jesuit school should stress the cooperation of the Jesuit community, the lay teachers, the students, the parents, the alumni and the benefactors. Efforts should be made to ensure that all those involved have the opportunity to learn and share the vision of St. Ignatius. As far as possible, parents understand, value and accept the Ignatian world-view. There should preferably be consistency between the values promoted in the school and those promoted in the home.
26. Jesuit education adapts means and methods in order to achieve its purposes most effectively. An educator in the Jesuit tradition is encouraged to exercise great freedom and imagination in the choice of teaching techniques, pedagogical methods, etc. School policies and practices encourage reflection and evaluation.
27. Jesuit education is a “system” of schools with a common vision and common goals. Jesuit schools form a network, joined by a common vision with common goals. An ongoing exchange of ideas and experiences with other schools is encouraged.
28. Jesuit education assists in providing the professional training and ongoing formation that is needed, especially for teachers. All adult members of the education community need to take advantage of opportunities for continuing education and continued personal development.