Tag Archives: education

A Moment in History That Shapes Our Future

December 16, 1773: Tea Served in Boston Harbor . In it.

December 1, 1825: Death of a Disillusioned Tsar

November 3-4, 1867: Triumph of the “Vampire of Italy”

These brief insights into historical moments that continue to shape our history, are drawn from the Catholic Textbook Project. They are written so well that they will interest even those who “aren’t interested” in history. They have an interesting Facebook feed as well.

A Moment in History That Shapes Our Future

The First World War Begins

All of Europe protested the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie. Who could not sympathize with the aged Emperor Franz Josef, who had suffered so many tragedies in his life and now had to bear with the loss of his heir? Such an outrage demanded justice, and few European leaders would have blamed Austria-Hungary for seeking it.

But, besides the murderer himself and the Black Hand, who was responsible for the archduke’s assassination?

…and…

The Opening Campaign of the Spanish Civil War

The fall of the monarchy gave hope to socialists, anarchists, and other radicals that they could at last take revenge…

These brief insights into historical moments that continue to shape our history, are drawn from the Catholic Textbook Project . This history curriculum will be implemented in the parish school this fall (2014). They are written so well that they will interest even those who “aren’t interested” in history.

Stratford Caldecott, R.I.P.

I commend to your prayers the happy repose of the soul of Professor Stratford Caldecott. In the fall of 2013, I had the honor of spending a day with him in Oxford England and discussing the development of classical education. What a gift and privilege! May he rest in peace. Strat was a man of many accomplishments and his books have had a profound effect on me and my understanding of the relationship of the Catholic faith and education. I commend to your reading the entry from Patheos because it gives you an insight into a man of profound faith.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2014/07/r-i-p-stratford-caldecott-marvel-of-catholicism/

Please see also:
http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/church-mourns-death-of-leading-catholic-author

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2014/07/18/leading-catholic-writer-stratford-caldecott-is-mourned/

More about Caldecott’s books:
http://beauty-in-education.blogspot.com/
http://beauty-in-education.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/bibliography.html

May angels lead you into paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem. May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.

A Moment in History That Shapes Our Future

We must shoot them all tonight.”

At about midnight of July 16-17, 1918, Nikolai Romanov, the deposed tsar of Russia, and Aleksandra Feodorovna, his wife, were awakened and told to dress quickly…

These brief insights into historical moments that continue to shape our history, are drawn from the Catholic Textbook Project . This history curriculum will be implemented in the parish school this fall (2014). They are written so well that they will interest even those who “aren’t interested” in history.

The Catholic Core of Education

In our diocese, Bishop diLorenzo has chosen not to adopt Common Core but rather to continue to develop the diocesan curriculum that is profoundly catholic. The letter by Professor Gerard Bradley of the school of law at the university of Notre Dame and many other Catholic scholars and professors, to the American bishops, opposing Common Core, has captured my attention and has given me a moment to sharpen my understanding of the educational philosophy that underlies Catholic education.

First of all, the Catholic church upholds that the education of children is the primary responsibility of the parents. The Church is there to assist the parent and not usurp their proper role. Secondly, Catholic education sees the primary importance of the orientation toward God in the education of children.

Consequently, the Catholic school has to address more than the 3 Rs – reading, writing and arithmetic, or to be more current, more than science, technology, engineering and math. It must provide moral instruction, and moral instruction cannot be reduced to a system of rules, precepts, commands and prohibitions*.

The wisdom of the Greeks and the Christian church corrects that error. The Catholic approach is to focus on remarkable individuals who manifest moral excellence in a striking way.

Now what does this have to do with Catholic education in an elementary school? A Catholic school must provide moral instruction through books and stories about morally virtuous lives. That is why a well-developed reading path is essential to the shaping of the moral imagination of the child. Such reading both fosters literacy and promotes virtue. Such stories exemplify the virtues of which Saint Paul speaks in his Epistle to the Philippians: whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely , whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think of these things (see Phil. 4:8).  This is why our parish elementary school has been implementing in the school the University of Chicago Junior classics to attain this end.

The purpose of teaching a child to read is not simply to help him or her to achieve an ability to reading technical manuals but rather to inspire a child to a life of moral excellence, that is a life rooted in God.

And that is the purpose of education – not simply to equip our children with science, technology, engineering and mathematical skills so they can be prepared for jobs of the 21st century.

People are not simply workers, but persons who embrace the dignity of work with a well-developed conscience so they can be successful in moral decision making that leads to human flourishing.

Thus the mission of Catholic education is to assist parents in their responsibility to orient their children to the realty of God and to rear them in the love and the worship of the living God, so as the children grow into mature adults they can navigate in the world with moral integrity and embrace the challenge  with a conscience informed by faith.

* Ryan Topping has an excellent article on this in the journal Logos. The article is available only to subscribers, but there is an excerpt here http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/logos/summary/v014/14.4.topping.html .