Catholic School Leadership: An Invitation to Lead

Catholic School Leadership: An Invitation to Lead

Catholic School Leadership: An Invitation to Lead

Catholic School Leadership: An Invitation to Lead

Synopsis

Dozens of scholars, educators, and administrators in Catholic education from the elementary to college level contribute essays exploring the state of Catholic education in the U.S. The book begins with a section on the foundations and future of Catholic schools, which is followed by two practical sections on teacher preparation and leadership issues. Articles include discussions of the law and Catholic school policy, the challenges of teaching religion, leadership in urban schools, and lessons for educational leadership in parent and child guidance.

Excerpt

Catholic schools have been part of the educational scene in the United States since the beginning of the democracy. For much of that history, until the 1960s, the majority of teachers and administrators in those Catholic schools were religious sisters, priests, and brothers. These members of religious congregations were educated to their roles as teachers and educational ministers in a variety of ways. All received in depth religious formation, education in theology, scripture, liturgy, prayer, etc. All took part in communal prayer, regular retreats, liturgy, and theological updates. Most were educated, over a long period of time, in colleges and universities to prepare them for their roles as quality teachers in excellent Catholic schools-all of them learned to teach from master teachers, members of their own religious congregations, who mentored them on a daily basis. Thousands of master teachers were developed through this religious community method of mentoring. At the same time school administrators worked their way up through the system, often becoming principals by appointment of a religious superior and learning the role on the job. Again, mentors were present to help with supervision of personnel, budgets, facilities, and program development. All of these teachers and principals of Catholic schools understood that as Catholic school teachers and administrators they were professional educators, but even more so, they were educational ministers who were called to share in the teaching ministry Jesus left to his church.

In the 1950s, the national Sister Formation process began to professionalize the educational preparation of religious sisters for their roles as teachers and principals. More sisters than ever were professionally prepared for their roles before entering the classroom or principal's office. Religious congregations of priests and brothers did likewise. All their young members were well educated before they entered into ministry.

Since the 1960s and Vatican II Catholic schools in the United States have gone through major changes. The Church has changed; the world has changed. Catholic schools continue to play an important role as quality educational institutions and as part of the teaching mission and ministry of the Church-in many ways these Catholic schools seem more important now than ever. A major change in Catholic schools is that now the majority of

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