ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
The purpose of reading literature and informational text in Catholic education is to find the truth, beauty and goodness in the world God created. The journey toward truth, understanding and therefore, God, is an optimistic journey despite the recognition of the human capacity of sin. Literature, especially Parables, as well as informational text play a major role in the Catholic understanding of reality. Catholic fiction provides vivid images of Catholic faith and practice and opens readers’ imaginations to the mystery of God’s love. Such stories invite us to “live the questions” that arise in any life oriented toward the love of God and the love of neighbor. Books of the Bible (Parables, Psalms, Gospels, Sirach, Paul’s letters, Wisdom, etc…) are excellent sources of reading materials for students, as are age-appropriate accounts of the lives of the saints. Secular literature that inspires and/or orients the reader toward beauty, truth and goodness(e.g., the traditional western classics, Great Books) also is appropriate, particularly when presented in the framework of Catholic morality.
The goal of instruction in speaking and listening is observable in the example of Jesus Christ. Conversation is a vibrant intellectual exchange that brings the past in communication with the present. Conversation is meant to be optimistic and joyous in relation to what it means to be human, showing respect for the dignity of the human person and being present for others. Students will develop speaking and listening skills that are grounded in virtue and the gifts of the Holy Spirit (prudence, wisdom, etc…).
The Catholic intellectual tradition provides the context for Catholic education. Knowledge gained is not self-contained, but rather is the outcome of scientific, critical inquiry, complemented by deep-seated principles of faith. So, the content of what is learned and becomes known is necessarily complemented by a real appreciation and profound respect for the human person. This is very consistent with the “common good,” a central principle of Catholic social teaching.