Thursday, May 28, 2009

Padre Manjon - A Serious Profile

Many, many years ago, when I was still a student of Bachillerato at a religious private school for girls, I begged my parents to let me leave that school and allow me to do my final year of Bachillerato in a mixed High School. I was fed up with nuns, single-sex classes and narrow-mindedness. It took me a long time to convince them, but finally they agreed to let me change my school and then I enrolled in Padre Manjon High School to study PREU (Curso Preuniversitario). And my last year of Secondary Education was a great success. I had wonderful teachers, I learned a lot, I made great friends and it was certainly the greatest year of my school life.
I just mention all this because I'm going to write about Padre Manjón, not the school, but the man.

Here is some information about 'Priest Manjón' that I've found in Internet.

Between 1889 and 1923, Andrés Manjón, priest and Law professor in Granada, carried out his pedagogic work in Ave-María Schools, which he founded, among the poorest children of Albaicín and Sacromonte. His peculiar pedagogical and methodological principles, similar in many ways to those developed by the emerging Active School, also known as École Nouvelle, arise from his desire to regenerate the decadent society of the time by means of education and especially from the love and respect he professed towards childhood. In his schools, Manjón practiced an outdoor, lively, ludic, active, physical, intellectual, moral and religious teaching, aimed at achieving a whole education in order to raise “upright” men and women, prepared for life in society. His strong religious believes made him base this particular pedagogical work on christian values, and so moral and religious education became the centre of all his school teaching. A. Manjón made use of all subjects in order to achieve his objective. Even in such a “dry” and “abstract” discipline as Mathematics he found means and resources to introduce the social, ethical and religious applications that characterize his work. In this paper, we describe some of the strategies used by the founder of Ave-María Schools to teach Arithmetic and Geometry as well as inculcate moral, social and religious values at the same time. Although the example that Manjón´s peculiar value education provides is inevitably conditioned to his historical, social and personal circumstances, nowadays it can inspire some ideas to deal with values such as peace, tolerance and solidarity in Mathematics classes.

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