Contemporary academic writing on RE in Catholic secondary schools no longer conceptualises it as the serene passing on of Catholic faith to practicing Catholics (catechesis). The Catholic RE classroom will contain a wide spectrum of practising and non-practising Catholics, pupils of other denominations and religions, and many seekers, doubters and agnostics. So the key is for RE to be truly educational, and to foster the spiritual growth and religious literacy of all pupils. Nonetheless, the faith formation of the next generation of committed Catholics is a reasonable aspiration of RE in the Catholic high school. Promoting spiritual growth in the Catholic tradition while presenting the reasonableness of Catholic faith will be legitimate aims of RE, all the while opening the faith to debate and scrutiny within the educational environment. Such a task takes on a crucial role, given that very possibility of lifelong faith commitment is challenged by the current postmodern, secular environment in which the pupils live, work and study.Read more
In this series, 4th year primary Catholic Teaching Certificate students share the findings of their studies on a new elective course entitled Prophets of a Future not our Own: Catholic Schools and Contemporary Issues.
Morgan Healy, MEduc4 student
Today, the view of education as a measure of success is a globalised discourse. Assessment-driven educational systems are controlled by large transnational institutions such as the OECD, with the PISA testing system in particular having a strong influence. This raises the question of how competitive results-driven education specifically effects our schools within the Catholic education system, which seek to balance a commitment to excellence with the non-rivalrous values of the Gospel.Read more
James McDevitt (Head Teacher, Holy Cross Primary School, Edinburgh)
All Christians are aware of the basic story of Easter. Jesus died on the Cross on Good Friday, and on Sunday, the third day, he rose from the dead. The stone had been rolled away, the tomb was empty and the Risen Jesus appeared to his disciples on a number of occasions thereafter.Read more
John Dunlop and Callum Timms
Pope Francis’ Fratelli Tutti is a timely contribution to the authentic social magisterium of the Catholic Church. It is as “a diagnosis for our social ills, which have been complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic” (Dulle, 2020). Fr Augusto Zampini, whose work on the Vatican’s Covid-19 Commission contributed to the Holy Father’s thinking, revealed something of its thought process in a recent conversation, explaining that the Holy Father’s challenge to the task force was to “prepare the future” (Jesuits in Britain, 2020). Thus, he embraced the call of Pope Paul VI to “become the artisans of [our] destiny” (PP, #65).
Luca La Monica (Teacher of R.E., Trinity High School, Renfrew)
The latest Papal visit to Iraq has been a historical one for all sorts of reasons, which relate to the political situation as well as to the religious significance of the Successor of Peter visiting the land of Abraham, Patriarch of the three most important Monotheistic faiths. This visit has been a striking example of the outgoing and all-encompassing love that Christianity should always embody, and that Pope Francis has especially adopted during his pontificate. The phrase ‘You are all brothers’ resounded various times during the Pope’s encounters with various representatives of different faiths. More specifically, during his visit to Erbil, Pope Francis invited all Iraqi people to ‘work together in unity for a future of peace and prosperity that leaves no one behind and discriminates against no one’.Read more
In this series, 4th year primary Catholic Teaching Certificate students share the findings of their studies on a new elective course entitled Prophets of a Future not our Own: Catholic Schools and Contemporary Issues
Erin McLaughlan, MEduc4 student
A challenge of significant prevalence, especially in the past year, has been the impact of mental health within Scottish schools, with few issues given greater importance than the mental health of our children and young people. Recent statistics conducted by the NHS Scotland, suggested that the proportion of children currently experiencing a mental health problem has increased over the past three years, from one in nine in 2017, to one in six in July 2020. Scottish Action for Mental Health’s 2020 report Supporting Our Young People highlights that there are numerous societal and health impacts that can be responsible for fluctuations in a person’s mental health and no one solution exists that can provide an adequate response to improving the mental health of all children, across all social backgrounds.Read more