The DLSU Newsletter online

22 JAN 2001. VOLUME 32. NUMBER 31. 4 PAGES 

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Catholic Teacher’s Day

St. John Baptist de La Salle was born at Rheims, France on April 30th and the eldest of 10 children in a noble family. He studied in Paris and was ordained in 1678. He was known for his work with the poor.

Very involved in education, St. John Baptist de La Salle founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (approved in 1725) and established teacher colleges (Rheims in 1687, Paris in 1699, and Saint-Denis in 1709). He was one of the first to emphasize classroom teaching over individual instruction. His schools were formed all over Italy.

The various educational reforms that La Salle introduced proved that he legislated wisely. The courses of study for elementary free schools, technical schools, and colleges are evidences of his broad culture and wide grasp of educational problems. If the needs of a certain locality called for special branches, or if the times and conditions demanded certain advanced studies, La Salle was not slow in responding nor in giving these subjects a place commensurate in importance with their educational value.

La Salle, furthermore, displayed his genius in giving his institute a distinctive character--that of a teaching body consecrated to the work of popular education. He became the author of a system of psychologic pedagogy that included the essential principles adopted by later workers in the field of educational reforms, notably by Pestalozzi, Fröbel, Herbart, and others.

n making the vernacular the basis of all instruction, La Salle appealed to the intelligence of the child, prepared the way for the study of national literature, and opened up to the grown man those avenues of real knowledge and delight that had been closed against the eager multitude.

La Salle died at St. Yon, Rouen, on April 7. He was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1900. St. John Baptist de La Salle was named patron of teachers by Pope Pius XII in 1950.

 

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