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VII EDUCAR Meeting: A Renewed Educational Mission

We conclude the VII EDUCAR meeting with pleasant memories, a result of the hospitality of our hosts at the Agustiniano School in Guatemala, and significant innovations in materials developed to enrich our mission as educators.

Updates on the Institutional Educational Project (PEI)

Our PEI is the reference document for our evangelizing work in the world of education. It defines the unique character, mission, vision, values, and identity of the Augustinian Recollect educational centers.

In line with this, at this EDUCAR meeting, its update was presented, preserving fundamental elements and introducing a global context update, redefining objectives that will span from 2022 to 2028. These objectives respond to a strategic choice that materializes in leadership, pedagogy, evangelization, and social action.

Updates on the Augustinian Pedagogical Foundations

The pedagogical innovation team of the EDUCAR network has reviewed and updated the original document, incorporating new aspects and providing specific guidelines for educators to implement in the classroom. The content of this new edition of the Augustinian Pedagogical Foundations starts from the premise of what we understand by Augustinian pedagogy, that is: Why do we do it? How do we do it? What do we do?

The question of 'how do we do it?' responds to the elements of the educational process. In this section, the Augustinian pedagogical principles are described. The question 'what do we do?' is the proof of this process, the concretization of the Augustinian pedagogical foundations. In this section, the 'learning pyramid' is described, which develops the methodologies used and relates them to each of the pedagogical principles. Finally, the three agents of every educational process – educator, student, and environment – are presented, highlighting the characteristics derived from the Augustinian pedagogical proposal.

Updates on Competencies and Profiles of Educational Centers:

Both the PEI and the Augustinian Pedagogical Foundations imply the concretization and unification of criteria for all centers belonging to the EDUCAR Network, helping us feel part of a common educational project. To these documents, one is added that seeks to imbue them with life, commitment, and creativity: the Institutional Dictionary of Competencies for Augustinian Recollect Educators (DICAR).

DICAR aims to standardize the skills, knowledge, and capacities necessary for an Augustinian Recollect educator to perform their job effectively. It also aims to help centers get a precise idea of what each mission within the EDUCAR network entails and how to assess if a person is qualified to perform it, with the same guarantees in all our educational centers. Additionally, it allows all members belonging to the institution to understand common objectives or goals, how to achieve them, with clarity about the competencies they must have and develop.

Updates on the Training Plan

Augustinian spirituality drives us to embark on the journey supported by the community, where we grow and evolve together in all dimensions of the person. Therefore, our EDUCAR network proposes a first step in training through a formative itinerary that accompanies Augustinian Recollect educators: Project of Life and Mission (PVM) 2022-2028.

While training is a challenge for all management teams, especially for promoting continuous training of teachers and administrative staff; this document reinforces our Augustinian Recollect identity, providing proposals that we can adapt to our context but aligned with the same guideline.

Updates on Certification

During our meeting, MELIOR, the excellence certification for educational centers in the EDUCAR network, was introduced. MELIOR is based on an improvement process inspired by the Augustinian experience of "knowing oneself, accepting oneself, and surpassing oneself," leading us on a path of quality for our centers.

The process to achieve certification will consist of the following steps:

MEGCAR self-assessment process: a model already developed by several of our educational centers, which includes stages such as organization, awareness, data collection, analysis, and the formulation of the improvement commitment.

Improvement commitment: it describes the objectives to be achieved, actions to address improvement opportunities, and a timeline with short, medium, and long-term monitoring indicators. This stage culminates with the delivery of the Educational Center's Memory.

External peer evaluation: an external evaluation team that reviews the memory, evaluates its coherence, and the viability of the improvement commitment.

Excellence certification: the MELIOR certification is awarded to centers that demonstrate successful management of our charisma and a continuous commitment to improvement.

Other Milestones of Importance

This meeting also allowed us to reward the winners of the contests launched by the EDUCAR Network this year: Artistic Creation, Augustinian Song, and INNOVATE Contest. Moreover, almost at the end of the meeting, the commemorative plaque was presented to the centers joining our network. Diplomas of participation were also awarded to each center and its representatives who attended our VII EDUCAR meeting in Guatemala City.

Undoubtedly, it has been a meeting that has allowed us to come together as an Augustinian Recollect educational family, setting new goals and enriching ourselves through the experiences of other educational centers. May this meeting renew our mission: to educate the minds and hearts of our students, following the Augustinian path of love and science.

Authors: Clara (Guatemala) and Jimena (Peru).

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