Monica Dutton has recently completed doctoral studies at the Australian Catholic University. Her thesis explored the contribution of short-term cross-cultural immersion to the formation of Catholic school staff. Monica has a Master of Education (Educational Psychology) from the University of South Australia (UniSA) and a Master of Religious Education from the Australian Catholic University (ACU).
Monica has worked in Catholic education for many years and has held diverse roles in primary and secondary schools, tertiary education and diocesan consultancy. Her work in Good Samaritan Education (GSE) involved formation of staff and students in the Good Samaritan Benedictine tradition. Participation in the mission life of schools through social justice initiatives led to involvement in the coordination of immersion experiences to indigenous communities in Australia, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. Monica has also coordinated Benedictine pilgrimages to Italy and England, and has participated in BENet Conferences in Delbarton, Manila and Rome. Monica currently teaches at ACU, facilitates staff spirituality days in a number of dioceses, and is writing a book based on her thesis through BBI-TAITE (The Australian Institute of Theological Education).
Transformative Formation: The Contribution of Short-term Cross-cultural Immersion
Individuals participating in short-term cross-cultural immersion trips invariably return home saying the experience was ‘life-changing’ or ‘a light-bulb moment’ for them. But what does this actually mean? And how is the impact of this transformative experience evident in their lives afterwards? Formation of Catholic school staff aims to transform individuals and communities, and particularly in the current climate, is central to the life, mission and future of Catholic education. Immersion opportunities are becoming increasingly popular, but does the experience align with the aims of formation? And how long-term are the reported outcomes?
This interactive workshop provides participants with the opportunity to examine the rationale and philosophy underpinning the immersion experience, understand the elements of immersion which foster transformative outcomes, and explore the short, medium and long-term impact in the personal, professional and spiritual domains. The vital role and responsibilities of schools in the pre- and post-immersion phases will be examined, and in the spirit of partnership, workshop participants will have the opportunity to explore how the principles of immersion apply in their own context.