Catechist Action Research in the Atrium


CCTheo opened in 1995 with a vision to explore the intersection of the church, children, and theology. This is best done right in the atrium with the children themselves. For 60 years Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi modeled this exploration. They painstakingly prepared materials for children that embody the Scriptures and liturgies of our faith, then created the space for the children to teach the adults how to serve their faith well, and reveal the gifts they had to offer adults.

This time of exploration is not over! Part of our ongoing work in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is to continue the observation of children, learning all we can from them about their theology, and our own as well. 

CARA is based on the Teacher Action Research model developed for Montessori classrooms and schools by Dr. John Chattin-McNichols and Dr. Peggy Loeffler. Drs. Chattin-McNichols and Loeffler prepared Montessori school teachers to conduct in-class research to refine their practice and environments. In the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd we have much to learn from teacher action research.

The first CARA Cohort was held in two sessions in Washington DC in 2018 and 2019. In the first session we learned  about conducting action research and made a plan to execute during the year. The second session was a time to assess our findings and prepare a summary to report to each other. Dr. John Chattin-McNichols led both sessions and was available to answer questions or clarify our work between the sessions. There was an opportunity for several of us to report to others at Weaving Our Gifts 2019 as well.

This free download contains a PowerPoint which was adapted for catechists from John Chattin-McNichols’ presentation for Montessori school teachers to prepare them to conduct in-class research in order to refine their practice and environments. We hope that this inspires you to endeavor to create your own Action Research projects!

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