But even those who attend Catholic colleges and universities will find little in departments and schools of education that adequately prepares them for their uniquely Catholic educational ministry. Traviss concluded there was a real problem that needed to be addressed and she called upon bishops, superintendents and Catholic colleges and universities to cooperate in addressing this apostolic challenge.
If Catholics are going to “recover our nerve and promote our schools for the 21st century,” as Archbishop Dolan urges us to do, we must address the real issue of teacher preparation and formation.
In the September 13-20 issue of America Archbishop Timothy M. It is the religious character, identity and culture that distinguishes Catholic schools and makes them so successful.
Dolan of New York calls upon all Catholics to recommit themselves to the mission of Catholic education. To meet the challenges of our own time we need Catholic schools, not simply schools operated by Catholics.
According to Paul Galetto’s research findings, reported in (1996), lay Catholic school faculty are knowledgeable about some aspects of the Catholic faith, but they are less well-informed about others.
Also, while they believe some tenets of the faith, they do not accept others and there is little existing data about the extent to which they actually practice their faith.Lay Catholic school teachers are required to participate in on-going professional development workshops and seminars.But their religious formation is largely their responsibility both personally and financially.They are being asked to do the same work as the sisters, brothers and priests who came before them, but without the equivalent support in terms of their religious preparation and formation. found that only 26 of the over 200 Catholic colleges and universities in the United States offered specific programs for the preparation of Catholic school teachers and administrators.Most Catholic school teachers and administrators attend secular colleges and universities where little or no attention is given to religious issues. And she found there was very little that was religiously distinctive in most of these programs.Some answers may be found by examining the cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes of a Catholic school education.In a society characterized by an intense interest in student achievement, many Catholics feel secure in the longstanding reputation of Catholic schools as providing an outstanding education.A recent analysis of seventh and eighth grade students in middle or elementary schools in a large urban environment failed to find a Catholic school achievement advantage in reading and mathematics for the average student; but it did show evidence of a benefit for disadvantaged and minority students in these grades.Another study reports that children who attended kindergarten and early elementary grades at Catholic schools received slightly higher, though barely statistically significant, test scores than those in public schools.In light of these changes, it is important to determine whether Catholic school students still outpace public school students in terms of achievement and other student outcomes.An analysis of nationally representative, longitudinal surveys allows for an evaluation of contemporary schools.