The guest speaker was Fr Czar Emmanuel Alvarez OSA from the Cebu Province of the Augustinian Order. He has a doctorate in Patristic Theology and has previously been a professor at the ‘Augustinianum’ in Rome, theology faculties in Manila, Philippines, and is currently on staff at the University of San Agustin at Iloilo in the southern Philippines.
As part of his presentation, Fr Czar highlighted the Basic Principles of Augustinian Pedagogy.
1. No one has monopoly of truth. “The truth is neither mine nor yours, but the patrimony of all”. (Enarr. In Ps. 75:17; 103.2.11) 2. Teacher and pupil are co-learners. “I am a good teacher insofar as I continue being a student.” Sermon 244,2) 3. Effective education is affective education. Teachers have a strong influence on their students, directly or indirectly. 4. Learning is a self-activity of thought. Students should pose questions to themselves and try to find their way through them. 5. Learning is a human free act. “Pupils cannot be compelled to learn; they can only be influenced to learn by the teacher’s own example, enthusiasm and love.” (G. Howie: 143) 6. In education, teachers occupy a peripheral position. “It is the learner himself who is central; he teaches himself in a direct encounter with the thing to be known…the teacher as not being the cause of learning but as merely supplying the stimulus and perhaps the source materials.” (G. Howie: 158).
He was visiting Sydney to give an intensive course at the Catholic Institute of Sydney.