A More Scientific Approach to Science Education

Aug 25, 2022

A More Scientific Approach to Science Education by Michael Moynihan at Heights Forum. Unfortunately, much current science teaching tends to begin with theoretical knowledge and then show how observed phenomena are consistent with this knowledge: the theory is fundamental and the purpose of science education is to show how the theory can be used to better understand phenomena. This is backwards. It promotes the habit of surrendering personal intellectual sovereignty to experts, as if reality is not accessible to human reason, and the role of the student is to rely on experts rather than strive for personal understanding. This approach may help to form compliant technicians. But it will be difficult for students educated in this way to become scientists. Read

Reflections of a Catholic School Teacher: Putting First Things First by Grace Schmiesing at Crisis Magazine. Perhaps not every aspect of the modern educational system needs to be discarded, but every feature of our schools needs to be consistent with the mission that should be at its core: to form the next generation of saints. To do this, Catholic schools need to stop thinking that they are simply schools that incorporate Catholic values and Catholic activities into their curriculum. If this is the mentality, then our children will be constantly pulled in two directions. Their religion teachers (hopefully) will be preaching the Gospel to them while the rest of their education will be giving credence to all of the philosophical errors that plague our modern world. This is not an authentically Catholic education. And, on a more practical level, who would want to pay several thousands of dollars a year for it? Read

The Pressing Task for Catholic Universities: An Interview with Dr. Jonathan J. Sanford by Jesse Russell at Catholic World Report. Increasingly, our secularized and technocratic culture is losing its mooring from a shared fundamental understanding of truth and from what it means to be human. Far too many academic institutions have lost their way, both in embracing ideologies that are radically contrary to the Catholic understanding of the human person, but also in the trend toward the commodification of education. This idea that an education is a service to be received, that a student is merely a customer, the professor a producer, and the administrator, a middleman, reduces education to a mere exchange: tuition dollars for marketable skills and a degree. Read

Bible Lumped in with Graphic Literature in School Ban Review by John Burger at Aleteia. The Texas Tribune and other news outlets reported Thursday that the school district was removing all books that were challenged last year, including the Bible, a graphic novel adaptation of Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl, and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. This week, Jennifer Price, executive director of Keller ISD’s curriculum and instruction, in an email sent to principals instructed them to set aside 41 book titles pending the outcome of a review process. The books included all versions of the Bible and Gender Queer: A Memoir, in which author Maia Kobabe describes her journey of gender identity and sexual orientation. Read

Fairfax Teachers Trained to Transition Children's Genders Without Parental Approval by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. Fairfax County Public Schools in northern Virginia are requiring all teachers to complete a training program that says parental permission is not required for students who seek to be addressed by different names or pronouns. According to materials obtained by the Washington Examiner, the district assigned the training program "Supporting Gender Expansive and Transgender Youth" on July 22 for teachers in all grades, including preschool. Two sources within Fairfax County Public Schools confirmed that the training was required for all teachers…. The FCPS training program was assigned a month after the district's school board approved an expansion to its student code of conduct that further detailed penalties for students who "deadnamed" or "misgendered" transgender students. That policy, approved at a June school board meeting, allows administrators to discipline students who violate the policy under Title IX. Read

Class Is In Session on In Depth at EWTN. Parents are coming around to the idea that they have the choice of what’s best for their child’s education. That might not always be a physical school building. You think about homeschool, virtual learning, hybrid models, a lot of that stuff that also came out of Covid and when parents see that school choice has to do with choosing education for their children in all the different forms, they get more behind the idea and more likely to look into those programs. Watch

Throwback Thursday

Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith by The Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education on October 15, 1982. While it is true that parents are the first and foremost educators of their children and that the rights and duties that they have in this regard are "original and primary with respect to the educational role of others", it is also true that among the means which will assist and complement the exercise of the educational rights and duties of the family, the school has a value and an importance that are fundamental. In virtue of its mission, then, the school must be concerned with constant and careful attention to cultivating in students the intellectual, creative, and aesthetic faculties of the human person; to develop in them the ability to make correct use of their judgement, will, and affectivity; to promote in them a sense of values; to encourage just attitudes and prudent behaviour; to introduce them to the cultural patrimony handed down from previous generations; to prepare them for professional life, and to encourage the friendly interchange among students of diverse cultures and backgrounds that will lead to mutual understanding. For all of these reasons, the school enters into the specific mission of the Church. Read