Graduation Date

Spring 2006

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form

Print and Electronic

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


The purpose of the thesis is to review recent literature on diverse aspects of Jesuit cation including its historiography, pedagogy, teaching, philosophy, and its contributions to Id of Mathematics. The time frame studied has been divided in four main periods. Origins; encompassing the founding of the Society of Jesus in 1540 to the publication of the Ratio Studiorum in 1599. Expansion; covering from the publication of the Ratio to the suppression of Society in 1773. Restoration: covers the period between the 1814 Restoration, until the ginning of the Vatican II Council. Renewal; the Society in the post-Vatican area to the present day.

In creating their educational system, the Jesuits combined their fundamental documents and the ‘best practices” available. The Spiritual Exercises from Ignatius inspired their mission d the Pedagogical process they implemented in their methods. The modus Parisiensis gave them a model for an educational institution, and the Italian Humanists an orientation for their Nation. The Constitutions gave them the focus and direction to implement their network of schools. Together with the product of local experiences and consultations for over fifty years y produced the Ratio Studiorum, a manual for the operation of a school, to be used everywhere.

The Ratio has provisions for mathematics instruction that survive to the present, as well as for the foundation of the Collegio Romano. Mathematics and the Coliegio Romano played an Portant role in the beginning of the Scientific Revolution, and it affected the work of influential minds of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and declined after that.

Behind the mathematics of the Ratio and generations of Jesuit mathematicians is the influence of Christoph Clavius, his work, educational strategies and textbooks. The characteristics of Jesuit pedagogy, mathematical work and its influence in philosophical thinking in the Seventeenth century are examined. After the Restoration of the Society the Ratio was no longer the universal norm for their schools. Jesuit education in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had the most success in those areas were education was under the control of Protestants.

The mission and current documents on educational pedagogy, characteristics and methodology are also reviewed. In the last several years, there has been a renewed interest the Jesuits, their influence and their educational system, but scholarly work is rare and the areas of study focus mostly in the Counter-Reformation period. Further work is suggested in using the tradition, experience and methodology of Jesuit education, particularly in the role of Mathematics and its teaching.

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