The fundamental source of human knowledge is encounter with the world and its history through experience. The guiding intent for the curriculum is to educate people to become fully alive and free human beings. In a Catholic context this source and this guiding intent both point to the experience of the community, an experience where Jesus Christ is encountered and the values of the Reign of God direct human action and being. Simply put, we learn through life.
Catholic education brings a focus to learning to discover, evaluate, interpret the human experience, which is always in transition, in ways that enhance and deepen appreciation for the gift of creation and provide insight into how learning can lead to fullness and freedom for all people.
Strategies to develop a respect for the life-giving dimensions of tradition:
- Provide access to the tradition of human culture–works of art, literature, etc.–as a way of engaging learners in conversation with the past
- Invite learners to bring the symbols and artifacts of tradition into their own lives with a questioning and interpreting attitude
- Invite learners to come to know for themselves the wisdom, knowledge, or beauty, of the tradition
- Allow for the occasion for moral discourse and provide access to models of responding to the moral questions raised by the study of the past
- Invite learners into a critical assessment of experience so they may discern what is life-giving and life-enhancing
- Celebrate the hope that comes with recognizing God’s continuing action in the life of the community
How can tradition be life-giving in Catholic education?