Saturday, May 31, 2014

Faith Does not Need Cramming

The cramming method of education is criticized often within Korean society. Recently,we heard all kinds of reasons for the Sewol tragedy,  and even the education received, was mentioned as one of the reasons for the disaster.  

A journalist for the Catholic Times in her column begins with the words from a  learning  pamphlet that advertised their methods: "Lets us work in improving  ourselves, knowingly and quickly, quickly."

Children who have been brought up with the cramming method of education, the pouring in of knowledge, will have  difficulty, she says, improving themselves having been exposed only to this method. Without direction,and help in knowing what to do, the carrying out of what is expected will be difficult.

She mentions a documentary that she saw recently. It compared our lecture halls and those in foreign countries. Our preferred teaching environment  shows the students with their note  books and writing material listening to their professors. This is the method they have been taught and even when in college find difficult to discard.

In her writing assignments she has seen changes in the way the  educational programs are being conducted in a number of parishes, with the interaction and collaboration of teachers and those in attendance. She gives the example in making  plans for summer camp programs, where all meet together to discuss different proposals. The idea is to be involved in the process and take responsibility for the results.

The journalist reminds us that it is better to teach a person how to fish than to feed the person fish. When we are directly involved in the learning process, we come away with understanding and a change in our way of thinking.Creativity and passion is nurtured.She has seen this in a number of her assignments, which gave her great joy. 

The result of our educational programs for our Catholics is being reevaluated by some, for the past  results were not always positive. Much is memorized and knowledge  of what the Church teaches is conveyed, but there is little passion or understanding of the reasons we believe. Yes, we believe, but it is with the whole body and not only with an act of the will to believe. We should be able to give an intelligent answer for the reasons we believe. Our faith teaches us much more than we can know from reason, but it is not opposed to reason. We use reason to better understand our faith. Our faith is 'in search of understanding', which is what  theology is all about. St. Thomas said grace builds on nature:"Faith implies reason and perfects it." Our faith allows us to be more reasonable.

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