Much is made these days about reforming Catholic education, specifically of improving academic achievement and Catholic identity in our Catholic schools. Both are in need of improvement. I would argue, however, that we cannot make significant improvement in either of these directly, that is, without addressing more fundamental issues first. I believe that both academic achievement and Catholic identity can only be significantly improved by addressing foundations which undergird them – foundations which our schools have forgotten or abandoned. Continue reading →
As Andrew Seeley points out in his post Spiritual Poverty commenting on the words of Pope Francis, loneliness and emptiness afflicts many in Western culture. For many, this spiritual poverty begins at a young age – while in school. Public schools institutionalize this loneliness and emptiness systematically, though not intentionally, because they have removed morality, virtue, and religion from schools. Continue reading →
Morphology is the study of morphemes, which are units of meaning. For example, the letter unit “tri” is not a word, yet it has meaning. It signifies three. When connected to one or more morphemes in a word, those morphemes give shape to the word meaning. In the word Triune, we can identify not only the Latin prefix (morpheme) “tri,” but we also see the ending “une” and its similarity to the Latin “uni” – meaning one. We would suspect, if we did not know its meaning, that Triune had something to do with three and one. In fact, its most basic definition is three in one. You have probably had this experience of getting the gist of a word by examining its morphology. It is an important skill to develop in children, but seems to have lost its appeal in modern education. Not only is the study of morphology important for the development of vocabulary, it is also important in the development of spelling. In his creative blog The Morphology Dojo, Andrew Hoyt offers some classroom ideas for a morphological approach to teaching vocabulary.
A couple years ago I began blogging about Catholic education, but my effort did not last long. With renewed energy and desire I have decided to begin again. There is, I believe, a real need for Catholic schools to connect with their past and yet strive toward to future. Continue reading →