Book Review – Educating in Christ: A Practical Handbook for Developing the Catholic Faith from Childhood to Adolescence For Parents, Teachers, Catechists and School Administrators, by Gerard O’Shea
I am often asked how my book the Way of Beauty, which describes the principles of Catholic Education at higher levels can be adapted for younger children. Now I know where to send them…here! This wonderful book, written by a professor of education from Notre Dame University, Sydney, Australia, has the answers and much more besides. Balancing the natural and the supernatural, the theoretical and the practical, and combining the best of traditional methods with modern educational theory and psychology (with great prudence), Gerard O’Shea describes how a mystagogical catechesis, rooted in the study of scripture and the actual worship of God is at the heart of every Catholic education. Then he describes how teaching methods and curricula should reflect these principles for children of different ages.
While the content he suggests for his curricula is not identical – O’Shea’s interest is more on general education than specifically creative arts – he provides an educational framework that is based upon the same philosophy of education and into which the particular focus of the Way of Beauty could be inserted.
Every Catholic educator of young people should read this book.
EDUCATING IN CHRIST covers the essential practical and theoretical elements of religious education and catechetics for parents, catechists, teachers, and Catholic school administrators. The first part of the book responds to contemporary calls from the popes for a religious education based upon authentic Christian anthropology. It provides a comprehensive outline of religious developmental stages, indicating activities appropriate for each of these from age three years to adolescence. It also takes into account the call of recent Church documents to approach this task from a “mystagogical” angle, linking the sacraments with the scriptures. In the second part, the best of contemporary teaching practices are linked with sound Montessori principles and the Catholic understanding of a pedagogy of God. Busy Catholic school administrators will find the provided summary of Catholic teaching on education since Vatican II a very useful reference tool. Teachers and home-schooling parents will find the sections on classroom methods, and the curriculum outline based on the liturgical year, especially helpful.
“In anxious times, this practical book is good news for parents, teachers, and catechists who introduce Catholic faith and morals to children and young (Read More)