The article Educating The Soul was enlightening. Larry Trafford explains in detail the importance of educating not only the minds of young learners but their souls as well. He discusses how we, as educators, can go about doing so. Some of the challenges he considers are the “one size fits all” factor, the “catch 22” factor, the “value-neutral” factor, the “market place” factor and the “culture of secularism” factor. All these factors aren’t ideal for the catholic education system and it is necessary to incorporate religion regardless of the changes being made.
The Distinctive Purpose of Catholic Education goes beyond Initiation, human growth, citizenship and preparation for the world. It is our responsibility to educating the soul, meaning “the integral education of the human person through a clear educational project of which Christ is the foundation.” (Trafford, p.8) This foundation includes the fundamental beliefs and values, including the key components that shape students learning with a view on life that is God-centered, Christ-centered, Church-centered and focuses on an educational philosophy based on Christian humanism. As Catholic educators it becomes our role to direct learners towards spiritual growth (Religious knowledge, virtuous living, skills and attitudes) necessary for discernment and decision-making. We have created an expectation for what students should know leaving high school not only in terms of knowledge and skills but also in terms of values, attitudes and actions are the foundation of the Catholic curriculum. In the real world there is never just one subject thrown at us, we must therefore teach in a cross disciplinary fashion. They create opportunities in integrate learning in real-life situations.
This article helped me see the importance of working in a Catholic school. Trafford made me realized how essential it is to have a Catholic curriculum. It taught me the importance of educating the soul by reminding me it “is a spiritual art.” One way we can teach incorporating a Catholic view and helping students understand its importance is by “scrutinize what is going on in contemporary life from a Gospel perspective” (Trafford, p.25) This will allow students to understands its importance on a daily basis. This article allowed me to have a deeper understanding on what it means to educate the soul, demonstrating way in which I can do so for not only my students, but for myself as a Catholic educator.