The Symposium on Lasallian Research opened Sunday, October 28, at the Twin Cities Campus of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (SMU). Forty-three educators and administrators from Lasallian universities/colleges in the U.S. and representatives from the Districts and Regional offices of RELAN, including Lasallians from outside RELAN, engaged in a three-day dialogue on Lasallian research to identify areas of study and plan the next steps forward. The renewed interest in research addresses the importance of documenting the many aspects of Lasallian education today as a means of continuing our mission of transforming lives.
In his keynote speech, RELAN General Councilor, Brother Robert Schieler, expressed hope that the “gathering will stimulate a conversation leading to a regional direction, if not a plan, for research on both our current reality and our heritage.” Dr. Mary Catherine Fox, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at SMU, presented a framework to help define areas for Lasallian research. Eight priority areas of research were identified by participants: new forms of poverty, women, technology and pedagogy, value added/outcomes assessment, issues of the young, adult learners/formator and teacher training, sustainability and Lasallian-Catholic relationship.
Sponsored by SMU and the Office of Lasallian Education, the suggestion to hold the symposium annually was enthusiastically received by those present at the event. Presentations at the symposium are available at http://lasallianresearch.weebly.com/presentations.html.