The Association Louis Beaulieu, whose Director is Sr Monique Le Gall dj, sees long months of preparation bear fruit at an important symposium in Paris.
On March 16, 2019, the Association Louis Beaulieu, “Personalised teaching according to Pierre Faure”, welcomed 150 people to a Symposium “From Maria Montessori to Pierre Faure, convergences and differences” in the impressive auditorium of the Catholic
Institute of Paris. The participants included representatives from Lebanon, various European and African countries, as well as twenty Mexican teachers and students.
All enjoyed a varied programme presented by high-level speakers as well as the opportunity to come together as experts or complete neophytes in the subject. At the end of the day, the compliments flowed:
It was a very rich and interesting day …
An opportunity for very constructive exchanges …
The quality of the speakers was exceptional…
Thank you for all your enthusiasm and hope …
All of them brought pleasure to Monique Le Gall dj, the Director, and to the members of the Association‘s board. They meet regularly at the community of the rue d’Arras in Paris and had worked very hard to organize an event that was not only an opportunity to transmit and learn but also a day for discussing and exchanging ideas and opinions.
The same Christian values
The day began with a series of presentations by different academics who talked about the links between these two great figures in the history of education in terms of their fundamental values and scientific spirit. Pierre Faure was a Jesuit but it is important to remember that Maria Montessori herself was a fervent Catholic and that she expressed her beliefs in her approach to education.
The Daughters of Jesus present in the audience found no difficulty in making a third link between the religious values of the two educationalists and the history and charism of the Congregation. From its foundation, “instructing the young” (Rule of Life 1842) has always occupied a central place in our orientations. For Sr Marie-Renée Kervarec among others, the presentations were a reminder of the happy years she spent putting Pierre Faure’s approach into practice, an approach where :
« Each person is unique and is an actor
in his or her own construction,
of his or her own formation. »
(Fr Pierre Faure sj)
After a very lively lunch break, the Mexican students treated us to a short musical interlude before the afternoon session began.
Many convergences and few differences
In the first half of the afternoon, two specialists in didactics spoke about the place of teaching tools and material in the implementation of Montessori and Fr Faure’s teaching methods. “It is the material in fine, argued Patricia Spinelli, Director of the Maria Montessori Higher Institute, that will reveal a child’s potential and put him or her on the road to inner freedom. “, before handing over to Sr Monique. Based on her years of professional experience, Monique spoke of Father Faure’s emphasis on tools in the learning process and their place in the socialization of students.
Turning to the future
Finally, the Symposium turned towards the present and the future with contributions on how the two teaching methods can and need to be passed on. School heads from Brittany spoke with precision and humour for France, followed by representatives from Lebanon and Mexico where there are 19 schools bearing the name Pierre Faure.
In the area of education where many are seeking a serious renewal, there is currently an upsurge in interest in the Montessori and Fr Faure teaching methods. As Etienne Petit, President of the Louis Beaulieu Association, reminded us “These methods are a treasure. We have a duty to make them known and to help them bear fruit . » One of the Association’s actions has been the re-issue, on the occasion of the Symposium, of one of Pierre Faure’s principal books : «A personalised and community approach to teaching ». «This has been, Jean Marie Diem, the Secretary General, insisted, a conference that can promote a new beginning for these teaching methods! »
We no longer in the same social context as in 1842 and compared to the past, very few Daughters of Jesus are still directly involved in teaching. However, all of them continue to support Sr Monique in her work and share her association’s desire to give an effective response adapted to the needs of today’s young people.
Sr Rhona Burns for Sr Monique Le Gall and the Association Louis Beaulieu