Salamanca (Spain). On 27 June 2023, at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain, Sr. Patricia Parraguez Núñez, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians of St. Gabriel Archangel Chilean Province (CIL), concluded her studies in the Doctoral Program in Innovations in Social Sciences with a reference in Education, with the thesis entitled: Pedagogical leadership in Salesian schools in America.

Taking part in the discussion of the thesis were: Sr. Ausilia Chang, Doctor of Educational Sciences, Professor Emerita of the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences «Auxilium» and co-supervisor of the Doctoral Thesis; Sr. Teresa de Jesús Rubio García, Animator of Mother Angela Vespa Community of Rome, Mary Mother of the Church Preprovince (RMC) and some sisters of the Community; Sr. Auxiliadora Hernández, Animator of  St. John Bosco Community of Salamanca, Mary Help of Christians Province (SPA); Dr. Amparo Jiménez Vivas, who guided Sr. Patricia in completing her Thesis; and other academics close to the Doctoral student.

The thesis explores the reality of scholastic leadership of Salesian Schools in Latin America, identifying the relationships between pedagogical leadership and the Salesian educational proposal.

A mixed study was conducted, in which various hypotheses were confirmed through multivariate statistical techniques, as well as a qualitative phase in which 69 directors of 9 schools located in Mexico (Guadalajara), Peru (Lima), Brazil (Brasília, Ribeirão Preto, Rio de Janeiro), and Chile (Linares), employees of both the Salesians of Don Bosco and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

Among the main results, we highlight the presence of strong female pedagogical leadership in the continent; and effects of positive predictive variables in Teacher Professional Development and Stimulating Student Learning. This study is the first with these characteristics in Salesian schools in America, which will allow further research on issues associated with pedagogical leadership in over 1000 Salesian schools in America.

The examining commission, made up of education experts from the University of Salamanca, the University of Burgos, and the Pontifical University of Salamanca, gave an excellent assessment of the defense of Sister Patricia Parraguez Núñez, who obtained the “Cum Laude”.

Upon her return to Chile on 30 June, at the Provincial House of Mary Help of Christians in Santiago, the Provincial, Sr. Ximena Oyarzo Mansilla, with the Animators gathered on that day, celebrated this academic milestone by wishing Sr. Patricia a blessed mission as a teacher at the «Auxilium» Faculty. As a gesture of esteem and gratitude, the new Doctor gave a copy of her Doctoral thesis to Sr. María Angélica Fernández, the first Chilean FMA to obtain the title of Doctor of Theology.

Photo: Flickr FMACIL


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