ratio studiorum

(Latin: ratio, method; studium, study)

Term commonly used to designate the educational system of the Jesuits; an abbreviation of the official title Ratio atque Institutio Studiorum Societatis Jesu. It was formulated during the years 1584 to 1599 by representative Jesuits from various parts of Europe, who drew upon the salient features in the educational systems of the great universities of the day, Liege, Louvain, and Paris, and the humanistic schools of the Renaissance. The Ratio contains regulations for the officials and teachers. The system is flexible and provides for instruction in the natural sciences as well as the classics and the higher studies of philosophy and theology. It insists on a few well-related subjects taught thoroughly and engrained in the pupil by means of compositions, discussions, disputations, and contests. The teachers take a personal interest in their charges and instruct them most thoroughly in faith and morals. Well-regulated physical exercise and discipline combine with the course of studies to produce a system whose efficacy has been proved by its results and endurance.

New Catholic Dictionary

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