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Catholic Northwest Progress
Seattle, Washington
March 15, 1963     Catholic Northwest Progress
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March 15, 1963
 

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March 15, 1963 Catholic Northwest Progress--17 Continued From Page 15 lected in our program, but it must be said frankly that a child who experiences serious difficulties in learning belongs in an academic program which is written for him alone, and the Catholic schools at the present time cannot provide the restricted classes in a specialized instruction which the semi- retarded child needs. This situation should cause serious concern to no conscientious parent. Severely retarded chil- dren are not too numerous, and for the child of average ability desire is a far more important stimulus to academic achievement than is native talen,t. The average boy or girl, including in the average ,those of rather wide variance from the ideal intelligence quotient, finds his best stimulus to learning in the interest and care of his parents, and if mothers and fathers will see .to it that their child studies diligently and prepares his class work with care, they can usually be assured of satisfac- tory scholastic performance. Key Disciplines Emphasized The ideal Catholic elementary school, there- fore, bases its curriculum on the expectation of satisfactory performance in a few key disciplines. This does not say that other areas of the curricu- lum are neglected, but rather that the child's per- formance depends in largest measure on his ability to read, write, and speak, and on his thorough understanding of fundamental concepts in the language and discipline of mathematics. What of the Catholic high school? The American pecvple have come to regard nothing less than a high school education as satisfactory preparation for the work which awaits their chil- dren in adult life. What do Catholic high schools teach, and how do they go about the business of preparing a boy or girl for the mature and respon- sible business of living in a democratic society? Education, Training Differ Traditionally the Catholic high school has emphasized the college preparatory course, and with excellent reason. By college preparatory one means an introduction to those areas of thought and action which by reason of tradition and in- tellectual validity attract the attention of a mature person in today's society and which can be con- tinued and diversified in college. Education is a very different thing from training. To have value as education a subject of inquiry must justify it- self both by reason of its irteltectual content and by reason of its place in the history of those areas of thought which educated persons have come to regard as worthwhile. Training is a different mat- ter altogether; one trains for a job, one studies to become an educated man. The college prepara- tory course emphasizes such subjects of instruction as language, both the child's own and other for- eign languages modern and ancient, history, sci- ence, and mathematics. Catholic preparatory schools and Catholic general high schools present such a course as their most worthwhile offering to the student. Mothers and fathers sometimes complain of the absence of co called "'vocational. courses" in Catholic schools, or courses which "prepare the student for life." Shop, home economics, apprecia- tion courses, etc., etc., have not usually been stressed in Catholic high schools, and this for two reasons: First, such courses are of minimal value as education. The child can learn these things better and more quickly at;ter high school graduation in the specialized discipline of a vocational school or other training institution, without giving to them the time which in high school might better be=spent in learning something which will make him a more intelligent, interesting and worthwhile adult. Second, such courses, and especially shop, are extremely expensive and the Catholic high school does not usually have at its disposal the physical resources which good training in such areas demands. The student is not thereby handi- capped. He can learn shop to much better advan- tage when he has finished high school, and the employer who looks to him for performance in this area will be better served if he has learned in high school geometry, algebra, and trig rather than the elements of his trade taught on machines which are almost certainly obsolete by the time he comes to them. Make No Apology Catholic high schools, therefore, makes no apologies for teaching as a matter of habit and conviction what is commonly accepted as a col- lege preparatory or liberal course of study. The child who has not the ability for college, or the child whose talent does not show itself in the area of academic achievement, will be better served by learning as much as he can of history of his coun- try, the syntax of his own language, and the ele- ments of mathematics and science, than by spend- ing his time to little purpose in-areas of activity which find their chief justification in keeping him busy during the time when state law prudently re- quires that he attend school. Catholic schools are educational institutions, they are not centers for child care. Expansion Program Begun The Archdiocese of Seattle is now engaged in a campaign to expand and extend its system of Catholic high schools. The institutions which have served well for many years are no longer adequate to care for the numbers of boys and girls who seek admission, and there are wide areas of the Archdiocese which have never been able to offer to the graduates of Catholic elementary schools the prospect of Catholic high school ed ucation. To correct this situation and to sustain the flourishing Catholic life which appears with new vigor in every area of our Archdiocese, Catholic parents and the faithful generally are" asked to pray and to make sacrifices that coming genera- tions of Catholic boys and girls may enjoy the blessings of a complete and adequate education in their Faith. Such has always been the desire of the Catholic church and Catholic parents will accept nothing less for their children. Out Door * ROSARIES MISSALS e GREETING CARDS CERAMICS STATIONERY PAINTINGS PRINTS KAUFER 1904- 4th at Stewart MAin 2-4173 GIFTS MAILED ANYWHERE IN U.S.A. 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