Re-Presenting Christian Tradition as a Source of Inspiration and Integration for Educators in Catholic Schools—A Proposal
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Abstract: A significant challenge facing leaders of Catholic schools in Ireland today is to ensure an appreciation for, and understanding of, the Catholic identity of the school among members of staff. A first aim of this research project was to create a ‘vital idea’ to re-present Christian faith to people working in Catholic schools, in a way that might resonate with the real world of teaching and learning and with their own lives. Drawing from Fratelli Tutti), we used the phrase ‘A Love that impels towards communion’ as the ‘vital idea’. A second aim was to present it to principals of second-level Catholic schools and garner their responses to it. We did this with twelve principals, using a focus group methodology. We first explained the thinking behind the ‘vital idea’, and then gathered their responses to it. The reaction of the principals was favourable. It made sense to them personally and chimed with much of what they are doing professionally. However, the word ‘communion’ was found not to be helpful. A further finding relates to values: while the values in the ‘vital idea’ were embraced and talked about easily, there was little explicit reference to God, the source of those values.