Uncovering a Pedagogy of Persuasion in the Letters of John Baptist De La Salle

Alfred K. M. Pang

Abstract


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This paper analyzes the letters that John Baptist de La Salle wrote to his Brothers by historically situating their correspondence as a creative means of stabilizing a fledgling lay community to educate poor children, a need that was inadequately met in a highly cleric-centered Church in France during the 17th century. It proposes a pedagogy of persuasion that lies beneath the method of De La Salle’s letter writing. The author suggests that  this pedagogy consists of three dimensions: conversation, accompaniment, and role modeling. The paper concludes by considering briefly the contemporary implications of a pedagogy of persuasion in the formation of teachers in Catholic educational institutions.


Keywords


De La Salle; Lasallian pedagogy; letters; pedagogy of persuasion; teacher formation

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References


Primary Sources:

Augustine. “The Teacher.” In Saint Augustine: The Greatness of the Soul, The Teacher. Translated by Joseph M. Colleran. Ancient Christian Writers: The Works of the Fathers in Translation 9, 175-186. New York: Newman Press, 1978.

_____. On Christian Doctrine. Translated by D.W. Robertson, Jr. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merril Educational Publishing, 1958.

De La Salle, John Baptist. Meditations by John Baptist de La Salle. Translated by Richard Arnandez, FSC, and Augustine Loes, FSC. Edited by Augustine Loes, FSC, and Francis Huether, FSC. Landover, Maryland: Lasallian Publications, 1994.

______. The Letters of John Baptist de La Salle. Translated by Colman Molloy, FSC. Edited by Augustine Loes, FSC. Romeoville, Illinois: Lasallian Publications, 1988

Excerpt of “The Spirit of This Institute” in the 1718 Rule. In John Baptist de la Salle: The Spirituality of Christian Education. Edited by Carl Koch, Jeffrey Calligan, FSC, and Jeffrey Gros, FSC. Mahwah: Paulist Press, 2004.

Secondary Sources:

Crawford, John Mark. Extending Lasallian Charism: Its Texts and Lived Contexts for the Spirituality of Teachers. Boston College, 2008. (Dissertation)

Elias, John L. A History of Christian Education: Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Perspectives. Malabar, Florida: Krieger Publishing Company, 2002.

Palmer, Parker J. “The Heart of a Teacher: Identity and Integrity in Teaching.” Change Magazine, Vol. 29, no. 6 (Nov/Dec 1997): 14-21.

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Van Grieken, George, FSC. Touching the Hearts of Students: Characteristics of Lasallian Schools. Landover, Maryland: Christian Brothers Publications, 1999.


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