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On continuous formation
The Life Of St. Joseph Calasanz
Saints, Martys, & Venerables
Calasanzian Family

Many people talk today about the necessity of continous formation. Calasanz practiced and recommended it. He himself confessed to having learned subjects and the teaching of them when he was a rather old man,

"I have learned to write rather well and also much about arithmetic so that I would be better able to teach others...."

With regard to education he wrote:

"Gather together at least once a week in order to discuss matters about the schools and ways to improve them and listen to the suggestions of everyone...."

Calasanz did not want lazy teachers, nor did he want teachers to feel inhibited. But his vision of continuous formation went even further. He asked that after 6 or 8 years, a time of renewal (what we call now a sabbatical year) should be given to every teacher in order that he might regain his strength, keep well balanced, and study new methods in his field so that he may return to his assignment with more energy. He was preoccupied with reaching his students' parents, and he set a good example of how to best use printed materials, whose use was not as widespread then as it sis today. He ordered,

"For the children who start reading, try to use books that are not only beautiful in printing but also in content so that children and the parents might get good results."

Paulo Freire put these words of Calasanz into practice when he developed his reading system which is now widely udsed in Nicaragua and is so very different from the reading primers that were there until recently.

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