La Salle Commons is an innovative model of professional engagement which aims to bring together Academy members, academics, Catholic stakeholders and students to collaboratively critically reflect on a solutions-focused, futures-focused agenda for religious education in Catholic Schools.
La Salle Commons aims to keep new teachers in the profession and to support them in understanding catechesis and their role in religious education, by helping them to develop a professional identity and to form strong links with the professional Catholic community early in their study. It assists them to establish social and professional networks, which can continue to support them as they move into the education workforce.
By providing opportunities for collaborative critical reflection and mentoring, La Salle Commons aims to:
- strengthen education students personally and professionally;
- develop closer links between the University and members of the Catholic teaching profession;
- build collaborative partnerships amongst those interested in Catholic education;
- provide a bank of video resources.
How does La Salle Commons work?
- La Salle Commons is a meeting place for education students, professional teachers from the local community, Catholic stakeholders, and academics.
- It offers a conversational-style panel discussion on a regular basis. This is a forum where ‘hot’ Catholic education topics are discussed.
- The facilitated discussion uses a model of collaborative critical reflection.
- The audience is encouraged to join in the conversation, ask questions of the panellists, and reflect on the relevance of the discussion to future roles in education.
Who is La Salle Commons for?
- All educators can benefit from the collegiate, ideas-sharing, supportive environment of LaSalle Commons.
- The La Salle Commons (Online) community site provides a bank of resources that can be used in University courses and for staff professional development in Catholic schools.
- The resources can provide the basis for pedagogical conversations, providing a spark for discussions so participants can explore ‘what does this mean for me and my practice?’
Collaborative Critical reflection
LaSalle Commons uses a model of collaborative critical reflection (MOCCR). In particular, it draws on the work of Henderson & Noble (2015) who provide a four step framework for collaborative critical reflection:
- Collaboratively Confront: Consider the issues relevant to future practice;
- Collaboratively Deconstruct: Tease apart the topic;
- Collaboratively Theorise: Make links between theory and practice;
- Collaboratively Think otherwise: Rethink practice and identify multiple ways of working with the issues.