Monday, March 6, 2017

Education Of the Whole Person

What is the object of education? This topic has many answers and we know from our own experience that many of the things we learned were not taught. Many of the things taught we did not learn or forgot. Parents are often interested in educating for employment: a comfortable and respected life. However, when we add Catholic to the word education we need to have a  different understanding.

Both Catholic weeklies had articles on the new rector of a Catholic University and his understanding of education. We have over 220, 4-year colleges in Korea, and no Noble Laureates. With all these schools why do we have the highest suicide rate of the OECD countries? The rector feels the reason for this is our educational programs. We need to teach the dignity of each person made to be happy.

Catholic education needs to remember the Catholic part otherwise, we educate  only for academic excellence, worldly success.There is a need to form disciples.

Catholic education has to be education of the whole person not only of the head but also of the moral and physical. Catholic Education is not to make Nobel Laureates, prepare government officials or teach how to make a million dollars but to teach how to live life fully. Students need to be educated on how to live a happy and fulfilled life.

Universities started in 12 century Europe attached to religious houses. They began with the ethos of Christianity. The foundational philosophy was  the love for humanity. Knowledge was given to us to grow as human beings and the educational institutions were there to help.

In the present reality we have a decrease of students, drop in the population and unemployment. How to do we keep the schools open? What is the solution to the impasse we face? He sees it with learning, developing our human qualities and finding jobs.

Even if it comes to closing the doors of the university we need to stress the social teaching of the Church: common good, solidarity, and subsidiarity.

Common Good is the total of social conditions which  allow people, either as groups or as individuals to reach their fulfillment  more completely and easily.

Solidarity is the idea that we are all connected with all human beings. We belong to the world family and need to be concerned for all, granted with different degrees.

Subsidiarity is the idea that problems need to be solved at the smallest and most intimate level possible. If this is not possible then we go to another higher level etc..
Schools are for students and not students for the schools. We need to work together, share the difficulties, make schools what they are meant to do: educate the head, heart and body.