A Deep Dive into ‘Formation’
Georgetown has received a generous gift to fund an important focus within the Designing the Future(s) of the University initiative—research on formation, a concept Georgetown has identified as central to the university’s mission .
Through alumni interviews and a series of engagements with key stakeholders and partners, the team leading the Formation by Design project seeks to define the concept of formation, taking into consideration how the emerging conditions of globalization, complexity, and social connectedness shape the outcomes we value for the development of the whole person.
Steeped in a strong Catholic and Jesuit tradition with this type of holistic education at its heart, Georgetown has a long history of educating young people in a manner that addresses the “whole person.” As such, Georgetown is uniquely situated to explore and identify structures in a learning ecosystem that have a high impact on the process of formation.
Conversations that we began last week with leaders through the Reinventors collaboration aimed at “Rethinking the University for the Whole Person,” will also contribute to these efforts. The inaugural conversation helped to helped to define what kind of person would thrive in a future world.
The Formation project will ultimately identify how universities can most effectively work towards this fundamental goal through thoughtful redesign and integration—and explore empirically measuring results of various approaches on a large scale. The project’s aim is to produce a research agenda that brings forth the concept of formation as a prominent element of today’s higher education scholarship.
Culminating in a symposium this summer, the Formation by Design project will establish a framework for further research on how colleges and universities can help guide their students to be fully human, to cultivate their authentic selves, and to inhabit a sense of personal responsibility for improving the world.
For more on the Formation by Design project, please visit futures.georgetown.edu/about/formation.