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Feb 03, 2006


Fred K.

It's a thoughtful interview, so thanks for the referral.

I'm a bit disappointed in the assessment question, especially because in education, assessment is darn near everything:
Catholic literacy, Mass attendance, surveys, service.

I attended mainly Jesuit universities, but I see the same confusion regarding how to assess Catholic mission. At my old college, for example, students now receive two transcripts: one for academics and the other for service. It's as if everything distinctive is reduced to service. The other three factors are OK, but formalistic.

It's too bad, because the Jesuits actually have a simple criteria of (educational) mission, the First Principle and Foundation:

It's a great question however: how do you (or I) assess Catholic education? How to assess the First Principle and Foundation, for example? A start may be to ask the question, "what does Christ have to do with mathematics?" But considering the public nature of Catholic education, perhaps the question could be posed in a broader way: "how does everything that I have learned contribute to my destiny?" or "how does everything that I've learned shed light on my understanding of everything?"

I stand on the brink of teaching high school (for the first time in over ten years), so this question is quite critical for me.

Greg Wolfe

Stephen: Excellent post. Your concept of what Notre Dame should aspire to be is balanced and wise -- if only more self-professed orthodox Catholics understood the wisdom of your approach!

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