“My life changed there,” Debora Natalia Sudjito said about the two years she spent at Ateneo de Manila University, where she earned her master’s degree with support from the United Board’s Faculty Scholarship Program. The university’s Ignatian pedagogy was her first encounter with whole person education. “My teachers treated me like family,” she said, as they demonstrated concern for her personal development as well as her intellectual growth.
In 2017, Ateneo marked another turning point in Ms. Sudjito’s professional life, when she returned to the campus for the United Board’s Whole Person Education Academy. “The Whole Person Education Academy came at the right moment for me,” she recalled. It recharged her approach to teaching, and it inspired her to bring ethical and spiritual dimensions into her teaching of physics education at Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana (UKSW).
The academy also connected Ms. Sudjito with other educators who wanted to help their students develop intellectually, spiritually, and ethically. In recent months, as she tried to integrate whole person education into her virtual classroom, she reached out to other alumni of the academy. As Indonesian alumni exchanged ideas through a WhatsApp group, they realized they faced many of the same difficulties, and the idea for a webinar series began to take shape.
Ms. Sudjito and her colleagues designed a two-part webinar series, “Integrating Whole Person Education in the Online Environment,” with support from UKSW and the United Board. The August 5 session focused on student formation and the August 12 session addressed the design of the online environment for teaching and learning. Presenters shared their insights and experience, but what was most helpful to Ms. Sudjito and others was the recognition that, in this new virtual landscape, no one is an expert. Instead, educators need to lean on each other as they manage the transition to online teaching and learning.
“We are not alone,” Ms. Sudjito wants other teachers to know. “We can encourage each other, and we can strive together.” She sees the webinar series as a way of building strength. “It was an empowering experience for us, and I hope we can continue our collaboration.”
To view videos of the August 5 and August 13 webinars on “Integrating Whole Person Education in the Online Environment,” click here.