Immersion, Empathy, and Perspective Transformation: <i>Semestre Dominicano</i>, 1998

Roger Bergman

in Catholic Social Learning

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233281
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241736 | DOI:
Immersion, Empathy, and Perspective Transformation: Semestre Dominicano, 1998

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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

Chapter.  6104 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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