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A catholic approach to Catholic education benefits students long after they’ve finished their formal education, says Boston College professor Thomas Groome, the keynote speaker at the University’s Catholic Education Summit July 18.
“Don’t just prepare students to make a living, prepare them to live a life,” he said during his morning speech.
Groome, who has written multiple books on Catholic education, presented the keynote address “Catholic Schools as Educators in Faith” to open the summit, sponsored by the Center for Catholic Education in the School of Education and Allied Professions.
He spoke of the long history of Catholic education in shaping individuals throughout the world, as most of the educational institutions in early Christendom were created through church involvement. In the United States, Catholic Church-based education has continued that tradition, instructing students of many faith traditions.
Groome asked participants to identify ideals they believed were tenets of the Catholic faith and how they might enhance a Catholic school curriculum. Social justice, building community, discipline and stewardship, and access to all learners all were among the ideas mentioned.
Instilling those ideals in students should be a goal of Catholic education, Groome said, noting that Catholic education was not designed to proselytize, but to provide learners with a foundation of faith and serving the common good.
“If we haven’t enhanced their understanding of faith, then we haven’t given them a good Catholic education,” he said.