The wider goals of education

“A true education aims at the formation of the human person with respect to his ultimate goal, and simultaneously with respect to the good of society to which he belongs and in the duties of which as an adult he will have a share." Vatican II

“The proper and immediate aim of Christian education is to cooperate with Divine grace in forming the true and perfect Christian, that is to form Christ Himself in those regenerated by Baptism.....

For precisely this reason, Christian education takes in the whole of human life, physical and spiritual, intellectual and moral, individual, domestic and social, ... in order to elevate, regulate and perfect it, in accordance with the example and teaching of Christ.

Hence the true Christian, product of Christian education, is the supernatural man who thinks, judges and acts constantly and consistently in accordance with right reason illumined by the supernatural light of the example and teaching of Christ; in other words, to use the current term, the true and finished man of character”.  Pius XI, 1929 

Children need:

  • wisdom: the education of intellect
  • goodness: moral education, or education of the will.

Key features of education of the intellect:

  • Truth is objective. It perfects the intellect. It satisfies our nature.
  • Truths in the various disciplines are not just of value for their own sake. They must lead the student to wisdom: to seeing all of creation as something beautiful from the hand of God, to seeing God's providence at work in the events of history, to seeing man's purpose in life. As John Paul II said at the University of Sydney, The Truth of man leads to the Truth of God.
  • Virtues such as humility perseverance, order, sincerity, and industriousness are essential in a student.

Key features of education of the will:

  • We are created to do good. Good intentions are not enough… our convictions must bear fruit in our good actions. Virtues, habits of behaviour, are the key to turning values into behaviour.
  • The most upright motive for action is love for God and for others; the intention with which a person thinks, speaks or does anything is of paramount importance.
  • Education of the will may be seen as education in the capacity to act freely, and to wear the responsibility for one's actions.
  • Since our temperament can wrestle away our freedom at times with strong emotional reactions passionate and emotional reactions need to be managed. Truly free actions arise from conviction and must spring from consideration of all the facts. There is a clear interrelationship between intellect and will. Both these capacities must develop concurrently. They are integral aspects of personality.

Integral education

The school seeks to support parents in their duty to develop the boy's whole character - in all of its human, intellectual, cultural, spiritual, and social potential. We refer to the harmonious development of these various capacities as integral education.                                   

The child's potencies must all develop in harmony. His intellect must discover truths and his will must develop the facility to carry out good actions freely (because the child himself has decided to).

A corollary of this ideal of integral personal education is that each setting where the child finds himself should reinforce these goals of education of the intellect and the will. Across the whole range of activities in which the child is involved, there should be a consistent message of what he needs to develop, and a consistent focus and strategy for this integral growth.

In 90 per cent of the schools, teachers pull in one direction, and the parents in the other.  The weak link, which is the child, ends up broken.  Can we parents do something to avoid this?

One solution is involving Mums and Dads in the educational process.  Schools incorporating this approach have already been running wonderfully for the last 25 years. Teachers and parents have to work as a team, pulling in the same direction.  The result is marvellous.

What we parents want is for all of our child's talent to be developed.  If he has 12 talents, he should develop all 12; if he has 24, he should develop all 24, not 23....  And I'm not talking about maths, geography or history, but something much more important: character development.  My children, besides brains, have hearts and souls.  Who is taking care of developing these in a balanced way?   Raphael Pich Address 24 September 1988

Balanced Curriculum

A consequence of the fundamental conviction in the need for integral development is the concept of balance in the school curriculum. An appropriate mix of subjects offered leads to the well rounded development of each and every student. We are educating the whole boy not a specialist in a particular area.

Two fundamental characteristics which the Wollemi curriculum seeks to develop in each student are a critical mind and a universal outlook. A critical mind is developed through a philosophically sound curriculum, teaching which helps the student form his own reasoned opinions on issues, and formation in the virtues of sincerity and intellectual integrity. A universal outlook is largely a consequence of broad cultural exposure and the capacity to see the same human nature at work in all forms of genuine cultural expression.

PARED requests that we observe the following guidelines. Students are to:

(i.)      meet the formal requirements specified by the Board of Studies in the Key Learning Areas:

 

K-6 7-12 
English English
Mathematics Mathematics
Science and Technology Science
Human Society and its Environment Human Society and its Environment
Creative and Practical Arts Languages other than English
  Technological and Applied Studies

Teachers are required, from Years 3-12, to integrate computing skills into the various subject areas. 

  Creative Arts
Personal Development Personal Development
Health and Physical Health and Physical
Education Education

 

The Tutorial system, the mottoes and class councils all complement the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education syllabus.

(ii.) be encouraged to develop spiritual depth through systematic religious studies in the Catholic faith

Although these classes are optional for students who are not Catholic, it is one of the basic educational axioms of the College that formation of the complete person requires development of the spiritual dimension.

(iii.) be encouraged to grow in their character and values through the Human Virtues Program, the integrated encouragement of virtues in all facets of school life, and through training and participation in sport where the emphasis is on teamwork and sportsmanship;

Sport, and team sport in particular, is seen as an area which plays a fundamental role in the development of character. On the sporting field, boys readily learn virtues such as fortitude, courage, endurance, optimism, resilience, and cooperation with others.

(iv.) receive the opportunity to develop a cultural depth in their character by means of: 

a) broad overview studies of civilization and culture;
b) awakening of aesthetic taste through study and experience of art, music, literature, and drama;
c) cultivation of a universal outlook through competence in a modern language and cultural exchange programmes;
d) a thorough understanding of the foundations of western culture through study of a classical culture and its  language, and cultural studies focussed on the development of western civilization; Artistic and cultural development is seen as important in building up the complete person. An appreciation of the Christian cultural roots of our own society and of the achievements of the civilizations around us is an important antidote to the materialism, superficiality and intolerance we can encounter in the world today.
e) studies in philosophy as a basis of love for truth, the formation of a critical mind, and pursuit of one's Christian convictions;
f) historical studies directed to an understanding of our times, and an appreciation of the capacity and consequences  of man's free actions in the world.