Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Education for the Whole Person

Education is an important work of the Church, and she continually goes in search of ways of doing the job as thoroughly as possible. Workshops and symposiums are an ongoing reality in each diocese and in the country, Catholic papers and magazines treat the subject often because of its importance and recently in the Seoul Diocese was a symposium on character education and the means to achieve it.

In today's world, we are overcome with information but information is not knowledge nor is knowledge wisdom. Catholic schools want to reach the whole person and inspire him to be a self-learner for a life time. 

Character education-- education for the whole person-- is composed of autonomy,  community, and dignity. All three working together to form the personality of the individual. These words came out of a symposium sponsored by the Korean bishops. 

In the keynote address, a priest professor stressed  a Christian education has as its goal the formation of a full person, a value system that comes from the gospels, cultivation of the virtues and a spirituality  internalized and integrated into the personality. 

Another participant mentioned the integration of these values in the life of the teachers. Care has to be taken that they are not overworked so this becomes an unrealistic expectation. Programs for the formation of the teachers to instill these values are necessary.

Another professor explained how this education for the whole person was done in the States, France and Germany. He mentioned the two starting points are the textbook and creative experience. Both  need to go together: creativity with others should develop into service. Concern is for the development of each student's temperament, potentiality, interests and sharing with others. Standardization needs to be avoided, and each student needs to find meaning  and motivation in their studies. Parents should be involved, and the student's autonomy and  responsibility fostered.  

The ideal is  concern for each student in the educational process. In English, the Latin roots of the word  education have great meaning: educare which means to train and mold while educere means to  lead out,  the combination of both should be the aim of education from kindergarten to university. The worry in Korea is that  education  will have the market as the goal and directed to qualifications and a means of making money.

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