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Aiming at Human Flourishing

Apr 6, 2023

‘Aiming at Human Flourishing’ - Catholic Teacher Credentialing Program has Lofty Goals by Michelle La Rosa at The Pillar. The Institute for Catholic Liberal Education’s Catholic Educator Formation and Credential program was born from a desire to help teachers reclaim a Catholic worldview in the way they teach—and the way they think about teaching. The 18-month program is designed as an alternative to state licensure for teachers and school leaders. It is billed as “a credential program that prepares educators to infuse a deeply Catholic philosophy and practice of education into their teaching.”…. The courses teach things like lesson planning and pedagogy techniques. But the program is not based on “best practices.” Instead, it focuses on a Catholic understanding of the human person and the role of the divine Logos, Jesus Christ, as central to the task of education. Read 

DEI is a Trojan Horse Inside the Catholic School by Dan Maher at Catholic World Report. Disguised as Catholic values, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) enters the school as a trojan horse, disseminating Critical theory dogma regarding race, gender, and sexuality. In practice, DEI overwhelms the virtues…. That many Catholic high schools—including, but not limited to, almost all Jesuit schools—have welcomed DEI into their buildings is a sign that the cardinal virtues have been supplanted by the intellectual and moral depth of “We Believe” sloganeering: Love Is Love, No Person Is Illegal, Black Lives Matter, Climate Change Is Real, Diversity Is Our Strength, and the like. Read 

The Cancelling of Christianity by Regis Martin at Crisis Magazine. Consider the media coverage surrounding this latest event, the shooting of six unarmed Christians, including three nine-year-old children, by an enraged member of the transgender community. How cleverly our news outlets have managed to spin the story, insinuating somehow into the narrative the notion, wholly preposterous on its face, that the killer was no less a victim than the six human beings left dead on the floor of that small Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee. Read 

Scruton’s Castle by Carl R. Trueman at First Things. The institutions of higher education, with their market-­driven focus on utility and “relevance,” have been part of the problem. In a classic essay..., “The Virtue of Irrelevance,” Scruton makes the case that the only useful education is necessarily “irrelevant.” Education is about learning what it means to be human, rather than learning to serve particular interests or ­purposes. Here as elsewhere, Scruton argues with great force that to be human is to be more than rational. It is to have desires, passions, needs, and relationships that cannot be analyzed in terms of Gradgrind’s “facts, facts, facts.” Read 

Teenage Girls Most Addicted to TikTok, Though App Makes Life Worse for the Depressed: Poll by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. The survey... found that 45% of all teenage girls indicated they were addicted to TikTok, while 37% said they were addicted to Snapchat, 34% were addicted to YouTube, and 33% were addicted to Instagram. Read 

Catholic School Enrollment Post-Pandemic: An Interview with the NCEA President by Jonah McKeown at Catholic News Agency. The Church believes very strongly that parents should have the ability to select the best education for their child as their primary educators. Obviously, [education] choice programs are starting to make a huge difference for Catholic schools in enrollment. So in places like Arizona, for example, well over 90% of our schools have children in those schools on choice programs, and well over 70% of the kids are accessing choice dollars to be at the school.... So we strongly advocate for seeing a growth in choice programs as a Church. Read 

Share the Vision: A School Choice Testimony by Rick Becker at God-Haunted Lunatic. [T]oday happens to be World Down Syndrome Day, and I can’t think of a better way of marking it than… sharing with you about the rich, full life that my son is living, a life that has unquestionably been enhanced and augmented by his time in Catholic schools. My wife and I are so, so grateful for our state’s support of school choice and for the many ways it has benefited Nick and all of my children. I truly hope it continues to expand in Indiana and beyond. Read 

Michigan Schools Admit They are Pushing Critical Race Theory by Angela Soto and Mike Gonzalez at Washington Examiner. State governments in places such as Florida, Virginia, and Arkansas are leading the fight against the use of race and sex to divide the country. These are welcome steps. But on the other side of the ledger, you have states such as Michigan. There, the public schools are going in exactly the opposite direction. Take Detroit, for example. Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Nikolai Vitti admitted that the schools are “deeply using critical race theory.” Critical race theory is a body of work that teaches that racism is “systemic” in America. Read 

The Embodiment of Truth by Michael Warsaw at National Catholic Register. By the end of March, at least 21 state legislatures across the United States were considering bills that would restrict medical interventions that aim to alter a young person’s biological sex…. In their statement, the U.S. bishops highlight a few salient facts about the reality of human existence that can’t be ignored or rejected, in the context of gender transitioning. First, we have been divinely created by God as individuals who have a unity of both body and soul. Second, echoing the Book of Genesis, our bodies are permanently created as either male or female. Third, these bodies are not “objects” that we are at liberty to change in any way we like. Read 

Parents Bill of Rights Aims to Remind School Boards Who’s in Charge of Kids’ Education by Congressman Rich McCormick (GA) at The Daily Signal. Last week, I had the honor of helping pass HR 5, the Parents Bill of Rights Act, in Congress. Parents have a right to guide their child’s education and to know what’s being taught in the classroom, as moms and dads are reminding school boards across the country. Our legislation puts parents in the driver’s seat, where they belong. It’s hard to imagine who would fight against the tidal wave of support for parental rights and school choice these days. But earlier this month, Democratic state legislators in my home state of Georgia were trying to stop several successful bills that would expand education options for families. Shockingly, their reasoning was that disadvantaged families are too uneducated to have a say over their children’s schooling. Read    

Throwback Thursday 

Moral Theology and Human Flourishing by Randall Smith at The Catholic Thing on August 8, 2013. [Wh]en as Catholics we talk about the “natural law,” we should understand that human nature is not static, it is teleological: it is directed to the goal (the telos) of authentic human flourishing. The problem with many moral systems—even some forms of natural law thinking—is that they attempt to derive the basic moral rules from our fallen, imperfect human nature. Of course, this is impossible because our fallen, imperfect human nature is the most unlike the person we are meant and created to be. Thus the moral rules and virtues that are meant to transform us from our fallen, imperfect self to our more perfect self will be the ones most contrary to the self we are now, and when we come upon them, we are most likely to find them not only difficult (which, like any worthwhile discipline, they are), but also noxious and even distinctly “un-natural.” Read

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