It was interesting and enlightening to read The 10 Building Blocks of Catholic Social Teaching. In this article William J. Byron states “many Catholics do not adequately understand that the social teaching of the Church is an essential part of Catholic faith.” The importance of learning these social teachings in order to truly understand and exemplify the values and beliefs of the Catholic church is even more essential for us as educators. According to Byron, the 10 building blocks are the following: Human Person, Human Life, Association, Participation, Preference for the Poor Solidarity, Stewardship, Subsidiarity, Equality and Common Good.
The building blocks Byron lists can be rearranged or have a different tittle, the essential message of each one is what we need to take away from this reading. They are significant for us as teachers and for our students to help us understand more about the catholic faith, thus bringing us closer to God. I found it great that he highlighted the main teachings of the Catholic faith. We could easily integrate any of these building blocks into our curriculum. I think it would be fascinating to make each one of these building blocks a “Big Idea” that changes each month.
For example, from the first building block Byron listed, “The Principle of Human Dignity” he states that, “Every person–regardless of race, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, employment or economic status, health, intelligence, achievement or any other differentiating characteristic–is worthy of respect.” In the month of September, the “Big Idea” could be Dignity or Respect. This is a great way to start the year showing students, right from the beginning, the importance of how we treat others.
These building blocks are certainly values we can teach our students to carry on even outside of the classroom and the school. It will teach them to find ways to bring their Catholic faith within their community and around the world. School already raise money to help the less fortunate, this is another example of one of Byrons building block, “The Principle of Preferential Protection for the Poor and Vulnerable”. Linking these types of activities, that we already do, will create a deeper bond for the students with their faith and helping them truly understand what it means to be Catholic.