Contributors to this volume discuss the task of education to alleviate the problems arising from the mix of peoples of various ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious backgrounds. Additional Product Features Number of Volumes. Highly recommended. Graduate students, undergraduates, researchers, and faculty. Show More Show Less. Any Condition Any Condition. No ratings or reviews yet. Be the first to write a review. Best Selling in Nonfiction See all.
Burn after Writing by Sharon Jones , Paperback 2. She cites many biblical evidences where meals have become events which foster sharing. Mealtable sharing method is honest, open, participatory and fosters dialogical sharing. The aim is to bring reconciliation, healing, peace, harmony and mutuality among different communities. This is a well-written and scholarly book, a good resource book for Christian education in multireligious context of Asia. It has seven chapters, quite fascinating and easy to read. The author, being an Asian, brought out the rich and tremendous resources from diverse Asian cultures for developing educational theories for churches in Asia.
I am sure this valuable book will have a lasting impact upon the life of the churches in Asia. Religious Education in Context of Plurality and Pluralism. Author Hope S. Today, people talk about the knowledge-based economy. On the one hand, young people are required to achieve unprecedented learning levels and abilities, on the other hand, schools have to deal with scenarios where information is more broadly available, in massive and uncontrollable amounts.
Principle of Pluralism - Children's Rights Education
Some degree of humbleness is necessary when considering what schools are able to do in times like these, when social networks are becoming more important, and learning opportunities outside of schools are increasingly widespread and impactful. Since schools are no longer the only learning environment for young people, and not even the most important one, and virtual communities are acquiring a remarkable importance, schooling must face a new challenge: that is, helping students develop the necessary critical tools to avoid being dominated by the power of new media.
Educating is a lot more than just instructing people. The European Union, OECD and World Bank highlight instrumental reason and competitiveness and have a merely functional view of education, as if it were legitimized only if it served the market economy and the labor market: all this strongly reduces the educational content of many international documents, something that we see reflected also in several texts issued by education ministries.
Schools should not yield to this technocratic and economic rationale, even if they are exposed to outside forces as well as market attempts to use them instrumentally, even more so in the case of Catholic schools. Proposing an integral education, in a society that is changing so quickly, requires a constant reflection that is able to renew it and make it increasingly rich quality-wise. Anyhow, there is a clear stance that must be taken: the kind of education that is promoted by Catholic schools is not aimed at establishing an elitist meritocracy; the pursuit of quality and excellence is indeed important, but we should never forget that students have very specific needs: they are often going through difficult circumstances, and deserve a pedagogical attention that takes their needs into account.
An increasing number of students have been wounded during their childhood. Poor school performance is rising and requires a preventive kind of education, as well as specific training for teachers. It is important for schooling to enhance not only skills that are related to knowing and knowing how to do things, but also skills that apply to living alongside others and growing as human beings.
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These are reflective skills, for instance, by which we are responsible for our actions, or intercultural, decision-making, citizenship skills, that are becoming increasingly important in our globalized world and affect us directly, as is the case with skills related to consciousness, critical thinking and creative and transforming action. Schools that are not subsidized by States are facing increasing financial difficulties to provide their services to the poorest students, at a time of dire economic crisis, when the choice to introduce new technologies becomes inevitable and costly.
All schools, whether they are subsidized or not, must deal with increasing social divisions due to the economic crisis. Of course, this situation mandates diversified pedagogical approaches that are addressed to everyone; but this choice requires financial resources, in order to be feasible, as well as human resources, namely well trained teachers and leaders. Undoubtedly, missionary openness towards new forms of poverty must not only be safeguarded, but also further stimulated.
Teaching is not simply a job but a vocation that we must encourage. Nowadays, teachers have to deal with an increasing number of tasks. Some countries are having problems in finding school heads and teachers for specific subjects: many young people would rather work for businesses, hoping to receive a higher salary.
Plus, teachers are not valued by society as they used to be, and their job has become more cumbersome because of increasing administrative duties. This leads many school heads to look for volunteers. The challenge will be for them to keep motivating and encouraging volunteers in their unconditional gift.
A growing number of young people are drifting away from the institutional Church. Religious ignorance or illiteracy are rising. Catholic education is an unglamorous mission. How can students be educated to exercise their freedom of conscience and take a stance in the immense domain of values and beliefs in a globalized society? In many countries, Catholic schools do not receive adequate pastoral guidance in the multireligious context they are supposed to evangelize.
Easy access to information, which nowadays is broadly available, when it is not selected with critical awareness, ultimately favors widespread superficiality among both students and teachers, not only impoverishing reason, but also imagination and creative thinking. The number of educators and teachers who are believers is shrinking, hence making Christian testimony more rare. How can a bond with Jesus Christ be established in this new educational context?
But once the crisis hits, parishes realize that Catholic schools are often the only places where young people encounter the bearers of Good News. In many instances, these schools have become open to cultural and religious pluralism and, in some countries, priests and religious men and women are not present there. This is an unprecedented situation, which requires the presence of committed lay people, who are well prepared and willing to engage in a very demanding task.
In many cases, this awareness has led many lay Catholics to organize their action but, quite often, their commitment is also characterized by diffidence towards the institutional Church, who has become uninterested in Catholic schools. Bishops must urgently rediscover how, among different modes of evangelization, an important place must be given to the religious formation of new generations, and schools are a precious instrument for this service.
In a number of countries, Catholic religion courses have been threatened and risk disappearing from syllabi. Since religion courses fall under the responsibility of Bishops, it is extremely important to always remember that this teaching cannot be neglected, although it should constantly be renewed. Since, in many countries, the population of Catholic schools is characterized by a multiplicity of cultures and beliefs, religious formation in schools must be based on the awareness of the existing pluralism and constantly be able to be meaningful in contemporary society.
This scenario is extremely diversified, therefore religion cannot be taught in the same way everywhere: in some situations, religion classes can provide the occasion where the Gospel is proclaimed for the first time; in other circumstances, educators will provide students the opportunity to experience interiority and prayer, prepare for the sacraments, and invite them to engage in youth movements or social service activities. And they should also be able to clearly differentiate between the specificity of religion courses and others dedicated to responsible citizenship.
Otherwise, governments will come up with their own agenda to educate free citizens, who are able to be supportive, compassionate and responsible, without the contribution of Christian and Catholic views in school syllabi. The multiculturalism and multireligiosity of Catholic school students are a challenge for all people who have educational responsibilities.
In order for teachers to interpret their profession in this way, they must be formed to engage in the dialogue between faith and cultures and between different religions. Promoting cooperation among students of different religious persuasions in civil service initiatives is an opportunity that should not be underestimated, where learning contexts are pluralistic. Would it not be wonderful if, as a minimum, all Catholic schools provided their students with opportunities to engage in civil service, accompanied by their teachers or, perhaps, their parents? In this kind of cultural context, teacher training becomes essential and requires rigour and depth; without this, their teaching would be considered as not credible, unreliable and, therefore, unnecessary.
Who can ensure this kind of training? Can specific places be dedicated to this task and be identified? Where can these kinds of trainers be found for teachers? Diocesan structures: vicars or diocesan directors of teaching activities, in synergy or partnership with training institutions. We should really think about the opportunity to centralize the training of lay people with ecclesial responsibilities and religion teachers in one single diocesan facility. On the one hand, this choice would lead to a stronger identity, but it would not provide the answer to a difficult question: how can this kind of training be adapted to needs that are typical of learning contexts?
We should not forget that teachers have specific professional identities, with their peculiar features, that should be taken into account during training. Parishes, deaneries or monasteries as centers for retreats or spiritual support for educators. In some cases, governments hide their animosity by using lack of resources as an excuse.
In these situations, the existence of Catholic schools is not ensured. Another threat that might emerge once again is related to rules to avoid discrimination. Are the challenges related to Catholic higher education, university education, any different from the ones Catholic schools must face, in primary and secondary education?
For the most part, they are the same. For universities too, we must recognize that the fundamental issues education must face are mostly related, in one way or another, to the new cultural — and even sociological — contexts our societies are experiencing and Catholic university students mostly come from. Lastly, there are differences in the status and prestige that is associated to individual institutions, as well as in the typology of students and academic staff.
Differentiation processes should be seen as a reaction to the changes and challenges that have involved higher education systems in the last three decades: during that time, access to universities stopped being limited to elites, but became generalized, while demands have increased for universities to respond to social needs and become factors for economic development. The challenge stemming from these trends is the same practically everywhere: i. How can the centrality of scientific research and the formation of highly-skilled human capital be restored, being aware that universities must not only be places where knowledge is processed but also shared, in order to respond to social needs, and become instruments not just for cultural and civil development but for economic growth as well?
These changes mandate a conceptual redefinition of universities, and Catholic higher education cannot elude this effort too: in this context, it is urged to better specify its identity and peculiar academic and scientific tasks. In recent years, the international dimension of higher education has been enhanced, through agreements between countries and universities, supported by instruments and programs that have been introduced by continental or global international organizations. Experiences in this domain have been characterized by several aspects: broader course offerings, growing foreign student presence, innovation in educational methodologies, and in process and research management.
Joint university courses involving different universities are an effective internationalization tool because they allow for the exchange of ideas and experiences, favor the encounter of various people students, teachers and researchers, administrative staff , coming from different cultures and traditions, and allow for the development of expertise in universities that have different missions, visions and profiles. This is a new and growing development that gives rise to many questions for institutions regarding openness, teaching methods and research activities.
In contemporary society, web-based applications are being used increasingly frequently and ubiquitously in the management of personal knowledge. Over the last few years, digital proficiency — in its different aspects — has been at the center of growing attention. But what does it mean to be a cultivated or even educated person in the 21st century? In this framework, the necessary skills to manage and enrich our knowledge, using online and offline resources, become extremely important. Next to these skills, others are needed, such as: connectedness , which involves not only technological aspects but also communication, as well as relational and identity management skills in a global communication context; critical ability , i.
One of the main problems we are facing today is joblessness. What opportunities can universities provide in terms of future jobs and business opportunities? Businesses, professionals and universities should have occasions to meet, in order to provide inspiration and opportunities for young people who are thinking about starting their own business, and for them to test their ideas and abilities.
University students need to know about possible job opportunities early on in their career, participating in projects and competitions and accessing grants and scholarship to become more specialized.
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In this respect, guidance and counselling activities in upper secondary schools and universities become absolutely essential. Catholic universities contribute to this mission by fulfilling their ministry of hope in the service of others, forming people who are endowed with a sense of justice and profound concern for the common good, educating them to devote a particular attention to the poor and oppressed and trying to teach students to be responsible and active global citizens.
This goal has been fully accepted and shared by all and many national and international agreements have been signed with specialized agencies in order to identify and share measurement indicators that do not simply evaluate external statistical data and procedures, but also consider higher education goals and contents within a system of values. Promoting the quality of a Catholic academic center means to highlight the value of its activities, strengthening positive aspects and, when necessary, improving shortcomings.
This monitoring and evaluation activity has become indispensable and performs two major functions: first of all, a public function, making sure that the study system is reliable and transparent, fostering awareness and a healthy emulation amongst the various teaching establishments; secondly, an internal function, aimed at helping players in the system to achieve their institutional goals and reflect on the outcome of their activities in order to improve and develop them further.
The changes mentioned so far also affect Catholic universities as institutions, including their governance. What is university autonomy all about? In many countries, the State has great power while individual universities need to be able to act freely to pursue their academic goals, without being unduly influenced by the fact of receiving public funding which, in some cases, accounts for most of or even all their financial coverage.
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