ERIC Number: ED400082
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr-12
Education for Faith and Freedom.
The culture of Catholic education is based on profoundly human qualities animated by freedom and by faith. Because all aspects of Catholic education are intrinsically religious acts, teachers are free to teach all subjects for their own sake. Educators have the freedom to insist that everything in Catholic education be first rate, including equipment and extracurricular programs, and they are free to work longer than 40 hours each week to ensure such quality. Students are free to admit to themselves and to others that school is interesting and that they would rather be there than elsewhere. Nevertheless, Catholic educators have an obligation to make Catholic schools worth the cost difference as well as reflect the faith which makes that difference. Some disappointing trends create challenges: (1) there are fewer areas of agreement between Catholics and other citizens; (2) Catholic families increasingly use public higher education; (3) there is a declining number of religious men and women as virtually free labor for school systems; (4) class discipline and the inability to expel students with behavior problems is a concern; and (5) it is difficult to reconcile the Catholic school system's aims with the teachers' unions' aims. Catholic educators should be assertive on the school voucher issue and on the need for religion in public life, and should insist that Catholic education be valued for its convictions, not just its discipline and uniforms. Catholic educators face challenges in their freedom to do their job well and to animate it by faith. The American Catholic educational experience has been one of the glories of the Church for more than two centuries. (KDFB)
Descriptors: Beliefs, Catholic Educators, Catholic Schools, Church Related Colleges, Church Responsibility, Educational Environment, Elementary Secondary Education, Freedom, Higher Education, Nuns, Personal Autonomy, Priests, Religious Discrimination, Religious Education, School Effectiveness, Student Educational Objectives
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention and Exposition of the National Catholic Educational Association (93rd, Philadelphia, PA, April 9-12, 1996).