Firmly rooted in the charism of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, Sacred Heart pedagogy involves both the philosophy of education as well as the methodology of teaching and learning. Sophie was a deeply religious woman whose life was lived with the basic belief in the existence of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. She lived in a moment of significant complexity, change and uncertainty. In that context Sophie founded the Society of the Sacred Heart.
For Madeleine Sophie education was never the end. Rather it served as the means for educators and students to come to know and experience God’s love. To learn in our school culture means to allow our lives to be shaped by an active faith. Ours is a sacred imperative to educate the whole child and through the dynamic of this education, we and the students come to experience being loved by and loving God. Sophie hoped that education within her schools would be profound enough to inspire people to rebuild, renew and transform society, wherever they lived. As her intuition matured, developed, and expanded, she came to see education as the means and the way to renew society (Phil Kilroy, Madeleine Sophie Barat, a Life).
True to Sophie’s vision and mindful of the significant challenges young people face today, Sacred Heart educators recognize that in the complex globalized world in which we and our students live social fragmentation exposes youth to vulnerabilities that put all of humanity at risk. Sacred Heart educators share the conviction of RSCJ that we are called to encourage students to be open to the truth, love and freedom; to discover the meaning of their life and service to others; to collaborate creatively in the transformation of the world and to experience the love of Christ and engagement in active faith (V International Heads of Schools Conference, Mexico, 2015). Sacred Heart educators see education as a process of humanization, rooted in the Gospel and in the educational intuitions of Madeleine Sophie (Chapter 2016).
Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat
"Let us respect childhood; let us honor the soul of that small creature of God who can already make choices of the best if we take the time to awaken her reason and make her use her judgment."
Schools of the Sacred Heart share in the educational mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart as articulated in the Goals and Criteria. The structure supporting Sacred Heart education in Canada and the United States includes the Conference of Sacred Heart Education and the Network of Sacred Heart Schools. Together they provide services and programs to ensure vitality of mission for the member schools sponsored by the Society of the Sacred Heart.