CASC Lumen Magazine_Winter 2021

Catholic Education

Joshua Blonski, upper school dean of students at Providence Academy, instructs Catholic educators during the innovative MCEQ course.

“Cultures are groups of people with a collective personality,” she says, “and cultures can have wounds, just like persons can have wounds ... But the Church’s vision of the dignity of the human person helped us to work toward confronting an evil (legal slavery). You can see what happens to cultures when they encounter the light of Christ – they are made more beautiful.” “We want to prepare students for the world they’re going to live in,” says Naughton. “You want to create a culture that is interdisciplinary, where science and faith speak to one another. It has to be an encounter of the mind with the heart; material reality has a spiritual source to it.” Multiple opportunities are available for further study through the master’s program in Catholic Studies. Teachers and administrators who complete MCEQ can continue their formation with a Two-Course Study. Additionally, a Graduate Certificate for Mission and Culture in Catholic Education, a full graduate program consisting of five courses

plus a capstone project, is also offered. The certification centers on the pursuit of equipping students to understand what a true Catholic

25-plus years in education, I’m still learning about race issues,” he says. “There has to be a way to speak about racism without automatically demonizing one race.” “Racism is a sin,” he added, “and we have to work to root it out like any other sin.”

education entails and how to articulate that philosophy in a school.

The Murray Institute at the University of St. Thomas pays 100% for eligible continuing education of archdiocesan teachers and staff to attend the University of St. Thomas. This makes obtaining a graduate certificate or full master’s degree from St. Thomas Catholic Studies completely free for Catholic school teachers in the Twin Cities. CREATING CLASSROOMS BUILT ON HUMAN DIGNITY, EQUITY AND HOPE Central to the conference component of the MCEQ curriculum is St. Thomas alumnus Aaron Benner ’92, ’95, ’20 MA, who spent most of his career teaching elementary school. He now serves as dean of students at Hill-Murray School. “I tell people all the time, just because I’m a Black male with

But he’s also sensitive to the realities of ignorance and

inexperience. In his conferences, Benner draws from his years in the classroom and working with parents to address even practical issues, like insisting on having a translator present in parent-teacher conferences for parents who do not speak English. He points to a common error that especially inexperienced teachers may make in this scenario. “Many teachers will look at the translator [only] instead of looking at the parent,” he says. “You must look at the parent and give them the respect they deserve, and you never, ever have the student translate for the parents. ... These are things you learn.”

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