Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rethinking Christian Education

I've never been a big fan of how Religious Education programs are structured -- the programs seem to focus too heavily on cognitive knowledge (which isn't a bad thing) without considering who is being taught. I often feel that deep in the back of the the Director's mind he or she seems to be working on the faulty notion of "The kids might not understand it now, but they'll get it later."

My professor today posed this question to the class "Why does religious education fail?"

My initial reaction was that religious education fails because it is educational and often fails to form the entire person.

The Prof. gave a different answer that should make people rethink how they run the RCIA, confirmation, and youth group classes. He said, "The Reason Religious education fails is that we are giving people answers to questions they don't have."

4 comments:

aggiecatholic said...

Never thought of it that way but its true. I guess the key is engaging the kids and getting them to really care. Then they want to know things and they ask questions. Interesting thought.

Anonymous said...

Building on Solid Ground by Thompson, is a good reference for that question. And I think your professor has met to many people who don't know what they are doing if he's got that attitude. Duh, of course teach them where they are at or they won't respond to Christ's call. One way to know your going the right way is live what you teach before you teach anything.

The Ironic Catholic said...

Very interesting response. This is a subject near and dear to my heart, and more so to my husband's (he writes religious education texts).

Who's your prof on this?

Christopher said...

I've wondered that same question, and think the answer supplied to be brilliant.
The concern now, is, how do I teach my 7th grade religion class in such a way as to both answer the questions already present and inspire deeper ones as well?

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