Jean-Baptiste de La Salle

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San Juan Bautista de La Salle (born 30 April 1651 in Reims, France – died 7 April 1719) was a priest and an educational reformer. He was the creator of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. He was beatified on 19 February 1888 and canonized on 29 May 1900 by Pope Leo XIII. He had to take the administration of family business after his parents died, so he completed his theological studies and was ordered to the priesthood at the age of 26 on 9 April 1678. Two years later he received a doctorate in theology.

De La Salle was a pioneer in programs for training lay teachers. In 1685, he founded what is generally considered the first normal school — that is, a school with the purpose of train teachers — in Rheims, France. He was a pedagogical thinker of note and is among the founders of distinctively modern pedagogy.