Monday, September 19, 2011
Since the Catholic Church is very much involved in the education of the young, the educators were interested in preparing standards for the future. In the discussion, they considered the relative merits of IQ (Intelligent Quotient), EQ (Emotional Quotient), and SQ (Spiritual Quotient). As one of the participants said, the Catholic perspective is concerned with all three.
Another participant mentioned that the leaders of the future will be asked to develop a program that emphasizes a person's innate, intuitive and spiritual potential. If the Catholic educational charter is followed, it would do much to change the present method of teaching, said one participant. He recommends that an all-out effort be made to implement the charter in the classroom.
A middle-school teacher attending the symposium "Granum" (Latin for grain), summarized many of the ideas of the meeting in her blog, noting that she finally came to a better understanding of what it means to educate the whole person, and realizing that educating for creativity means more than imparting knowledge. The danger, she stresses, is believing that the goal of this educational approach is to make students more altruistic. Not so, she says; concern for the welfare of others is not the goal of educating the whole person but is an important consequence of the education.
Knowledge can be a dangerous thing or can be the salt and light of the world. Educating the whole person means that what is learned becomes part of our value system and leads us to maturity.
Life, she reminds us, is a continual meeting: meeting with oneself, with others with nature, with events and with things. Inanimate things all have a purpose, she says; they exist not for themselves but for others. Education and all learning in life begins with the person and extends outward in concern for all other persons, and ultimately, all that exists.
She concludes with the words of one participant who stressed that we should always keep in mind the words of the Our Father: "Thy will be done on earth...." Awareness of this transcendental purpose is necessary, she says, for all who have the vocation of teacher.