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QCEC Colloquium 12-13 June 2014. Session 5: Formation of Staff to Support a Catholic Perspective. Rev Dr Kevin Lenehan Catholic Theological College, University of Divinity. Professional Learning Conversations: relevant evidence inquiry habit of mind knowledge and skills

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qcec colloquium 12 13 june 2014
QCEC Colloquium 12-13 June 2014

Session 5: Formation of Staff to Support a Catholic Perspective

Rev Dr Kevin Lenehan

Catholic Theological College, University of Divinity


Professional Learning Conversations:

    • relevant evidence
    • inquiry habit of mind
    • knowledge and skills
    • relationships of respect and challenge
teacher support for catholic education
Teacher Support for Catholic Education
  • Do you consider yourself to have STRONG/AVERAGE/NO faith in Christ?
  • Primary school teachers (n=1473)
    • 48.2% strong faith in Christ
    • 45.4% average faith in Christ
    • 3.3% no faith in Christ
  • Secondary school teachers (n=917)
    • 37.9 % strong faith in Christ
    • 38.3% average faith in Christ
    • 12.1% no faith in Christ

Source: CECV & KU Leuven, 2010, 2012

teacher support for catholic education1
Teacher Support for Catholic Education
  • Do you support the Catholic faith?

Primary Students Adults


Full support 42.1% 31.2%

Support but critical 38.8% 61.3%

Neither positive nor

negative 12.4% 5.7%

Dislike Catholic

faith 1.6% 0.4%

teacher support for catholic education2
Teacher Support for Catholic Education
  • Do you support the Catholic faith?

Secondary Students Adults


Full support 18.8% 28.5%

Support but critical 42.3% 57.8%

Neither positive nor

negative 27.5% 11.7%

Dislike Catholic

faith 5.3% 0.8%

teacher support for catholic education3
Teacher Support for Catholic Education
  • Do you support the Catholic identity of schools?

Primary Students Adults


Strong support 22.0%33.6%

Support 41.9%52.5%

It’s ok 21.7%9.1%

Don’t care 5.6%1.4%

teacher support for catholic education4
Teacher Support for Catholic Education
  • Do you support the Catholic identity of schools?

Secondary Students Adults


Strong support 7.7% 29.7%

Support 30.7% 48.8%

It’s ok 30.6% 13.5%

Don’t care 21.4% 4.2%

teacher support for catholic education5
Teacher Support for Catholic Education

How should schools respond to the increasing diversity and plurality of their communities?

Responses by adults (teachers, parents, leaders):

  • Institutional secularisation 10%
  • Reconfessionalisation 23%
  • Recontextualisation 40%
  • Christian Values Education 22%

Spirit Matters: How Making Sense of Life Affects Wellbeing. Peter Kaldor, Philip Hughes and Alan Black. Melbourne: Mosaic Press, 2010.

practical secularity
‘Practical secularity’
  • “For [the mostly secular] religion and spirituality are not so much rejected as ignored. Life is lived in the present, in the world of the here and now... If religion and spirituality is there at all, it is there in the background...
  • “What is clear is that few Australians with little religion or spirituality have totally and explicitly rejected it. The major problem is not necessarily a philosophical one…[rather] the day-to-day world does not require that they engage with religion or spirituality. They are ‘practical’ secularists, rather than ideological secular.”

Spirit Matters, 57

catholic governance and staff formation
Catholic Governance and Staff Formation

Principles of Catholic Social Teaching

  • the dignity of the human person
  • the common good of persons
  • the universal destination of goods
  • the principle of subsidiarity
  • participation
  • solidarity
  • social values: truth, liberty, justice
  • the way of love
the common good
The Common Good
  • the common good

“the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfilment fully and more easily”

GS 26; CCC 1905-1912; CSDC 164.

the common good1
The Common Good
  • CSDC 165. .. No expression of social life — from the family to intermediate social groups, associations, enterprises of an economic nature, cities, regions, states, up to the community of peoples and nations — can escape the issue of its own common good, in that this is a constitutive element of its significance and the authentic reason for its very existence.
  • participation

“a series of activities by means of which the citizen… contributes to the cultural, economic, political and social life of the community…. Participation is a duty to be fulfilled consciously by all, with responsibility and with a view to the common good.”

CCC 1913-1914; CSDC 189-191; GS 75

  • CSDC 191:“The overcoming of cultural, juridical and social obstacles that often constitute real barriers to the shared participation of citizens in the destiny of their communities calls for work in the areas of education and information.”
the mission of the school
The Mission of the School
  • “Catholic schools are at one and the same time places of evangelization, well-rounded education, inculturation and initiation to the dialogue of life among young people of different religions and social backgrounds.”

John Paul II, Ecclesia in Africa, n. 102, cited in Educating to Intercultural Dialogue, n.17.

the mission of the school1
The Mission of the School
  • “… the prime responsibility for creating this unique Christian school climate rests with the teachers, as individuals and as a community.”

The Religious Dimension of the Catholic School, n.26

the mission of the school2
The Mission of the School
  • How do the principles of the common good and participation relate to the mission of our school?
  • How can staff formation assist to increase participation of staff in the mission of the school?
teacher formation
Teacher Formation
  • QCEC Policy, Formation of Staff Members in Catholic Schools in Queensland (2010)
    • 2.5 Continuing professional development includes both professional and religious formation
professional dimension of staff formation1
Professional Dimension of Staff Formation
  • Professional learning
    • is informed by principles of adult learning
    • uses research on effective learning and teaching
    • links pedagogy and discipline content
    • content is aligned with actual curriculum standards
    • is given sufficient time, support and resources to master new pedagogy and integrate into practice
    • is collaborative, with reflection and feedback
    • is intellectually engaging and recognizes the complexity of learning
professional dimension of staff formation2
Professional Dimension of Staff Formation
  • professional formation for presenting the Catholic worldview in a post-critical, inquiry-based, pluralistic learning environment
  • 3-fold approach
    • apologetic in face of opposition/contradiction
    • hermeneutic in face of misunderstanding
    • dialogue in face of indifference or other worldviews
religious dimension of staff development
Religious Dimension of Staff Development
  • principles of religious freedom
    • right to religious liberty based in dignity of person
    • truth communicates by its own power, not by coercion
    • to seek and assent to truth is an act of human freedom and conscious
    • is aided by teaching and dialogue with others
    • faith is the free act of the whole human person
religious dimension of staff development1
Religious Dimension of Staff Development
  • dimensions of conversion (Lonergan)
    • intellectual
    • moral
    • religious
  • the skills of discernment – personal and communal
skills of spiritual practice
Skills of Spiritual Practice
  • Be still
  • Be silent
  • Be aware
  • Be centred on Jesus
  • Be patient
  • Be grateful


the daily examen
The Daily Examen
  • 1. Become aware of God’s presence
  • 2. Review the day with gratitude
  • 3. Pay attention to your emotions
  • 4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
  • 5. Look toward tomorrow
promoting visible governance
Promoting visible governance
  • Ron Ritchhart (2002), 8 factors affecting classroom/school culture
    • expectations
    • time allocation
    • modelling
    • routines
    • opportunities
    • relationships
    • physical environment
    • language and conversation
promoting visible governance1
Promoting visible governance
  • characteristics of effective routines:
    • explicit
    • instrumental
    • used over and over
    • across a variety of contexts
    • individual and group practices
roles in support of catholic perspective in curriculum
Roles in support of Catholic perspective in curriculum
  • Roleswithin the teaching staff
    • Witness
      • Catholic tradition is ‘confessionally constitutive’ for identity of religious educator
    • Moderator
      • Religious educator, without compromising their own confessional identity, moderates the interaction of student’s pluralised worldviews
    • Specialist
      • able to inform learning experiences with expert knowledge and sound pedagogical approaches to the content of Christian revelation