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Catholic Social LearningEducating the Faith That Does Justice$
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Roger Bergman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233281

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233281.001.0001

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Immersion, Empathy, and Perspective Transformation: Semestre Dominicano, 1998

Immersion, Empathy, and Perspective Transformation: Semestre Dominicano, 1998

(p.59) 4 Immersion, Empathy, and Perspective Transformation: Semestre Dominicano, 1998
Catholic Social Learning

Roger Bergman

Fordham University Press

This chapter analyzes an example of an intensive form of the Pedagogical Circle, of justice pedagogy. Semestre Dominicano offered a small group of undergraduate students a four-month experience of cross-cultural immersion, service among the poor and oppressed, social analysis, theological and normative reflection, and personal discernment. Research on Semestre Dominicano suggests that such an educational program, with its emphasis on a personal encounter with the poor as a problem-posing insertion into social reality, and with the human capacity for empathy at its heart, provides one very promising model by which to foster in college students a transformation of moral perspective and a commitment to a more-just world. That such a transformation is oftentimes painful is a theme of this chapter.

Keywords:   Pedagogical Circle, justice pedagogy, Semestre Dominicano, cross-cultural immersion, social analysis

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