Schooling a soul : integral curriculum in American Catholic high schools
Kiely, Thomas Joseph.
Thesis (M.A.L.S.)--Georgetown University, 2008.; Includes bibliographical references. Since early in their history Catholic schools have claimed to educate the "whole person" in statements of purpose by schools, and in reflections on the education of youth by educators. Combined with a Catholic worldview that seeks to unify the metaphysical basis for knowledge as proceeding from God's creative act, this two-pronged approach to education is called the integral curriculum in current Catholic educational literature. Traditionally administered and taught by a faculty who were predominantly vowed religious men and women, this curriculum is in a time of transition as the integral aspects of the Catholic worldview are often matters of choice at American Catholic high schools steeped in the market-place practice of student choice, and staffed by men and women who lack the religious formation experiences that characterized their forebears.; This thesis explores the historical, theological, anthropological, and philosophical bases of the integral curriculum, and then seeks to define its current existence within Catholic secondary schools in the United States. From this investigation a contemporary mission, philosophy, and strategy is developed to reignite the integral curriculum's scope and practice. A strategic plan is developed proposing five areas of growth and development for the integral initiative. These five areas: administration and governance, faculty and curriculum, student requirements, extracurricular activities, and community, parent and alumni support structures attempt to address the significant aspects that ought to be integrated during a young person's intellectual, spiritual, moral, and social formation. Throughout the plan the overarching strategies and objectives that guide the proposed action plans are: a required engagement of the whole person, the communication of an integrated Catholic worldview, the establishing of positive, constructive relationships between students and faculty, and the engaging of a critical dialogue between the Catholic faith and the contemporary culture in which young people live.; Using documents and tools developed by traditional Catholic thinkers such as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, the Society of Jesus, the Vatican education offices, the National Catholic Education Association and by the education policy community this thesis seeks to become the basis for a critical discussion regarding the mission, focus, and educational practices of U.S. Catholic high schools.
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