St. Peter Catholic School

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Philosophy of Education

Philosophy of Education

God creates man in His image, endowed with the powers of reason and free will. These gifts set us above all worldly creatures, giving us the ability to know, love and serve God. The purpose of education, therefore, is to guide young souls through experiences that perpetrate growth in the theological, intellectual, and moral virtues. God ordained that this awesome task falls primarily in the hands of parents. We firmly believe that parents are the initial and primary educators of their children. It is through a cooperative, close relationship between parents and school that children are formed and reinforced in their spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical capacities.

The Second Vatican Council, in its document entitled Declaration on Christian Education states, that parents are the first and foremost educators of their children, and that "their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it." Furthermore, we find this same reasoning expressed by our Holy Father of happy memory, Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Exhortation on the family, Familiaris Consortio, when he states that "the right and duty of parents to give education is essential...it is original and primary with regard to the educational role of others...it is irreplaceable and inalienable and therefore incapable of being entirely delegated to others or usurped by others." It is a parent who teaches a child through exhortation and personal witness the importance of prayer and the sacramental life; it is a parent who answers a child’s continuing flow of questions that develop his understanding of the world; it is a parent who provides prudent counsel to the child, enabling him to do the good things that lead to moral virtue. The importance and nobility of the parental contribution in the education of children cannot be overstated.

Acknowledging these truths, St. Peter Catholic School aids parents in the formation and education of their children based on the principle of subsidiarity. It does so by providing an atmosphere that maintains and fosters the Christian spiritual, intellectual, moral, and physical formation that the students receive at home. The school exists primarily to form the intellect of the student and, as such, aids parents in those tasks of education that they are not able to fulfill completely on their own.

In addition, we believe that it is the responsibility of the family and the school, through mutual reinforcement, to set and maintain high standards of moral conduct for all students. These morals, founded in the Gospel principles, are the basis for developing a life of virtue and the path to live in God's will. It is through the balanced integration of our Roman Catholic faith with our experiences of learning, life, and service that we can form St. Peter Catholic School students into Christian role models and leaders in our secular and church communities.

In keeping with the perennial philosophy and theology that is the intellectual heritage of every Christian, St. Peter Catholic School seeks to carry on the living tradition of authentic Catholic education. Education must not seek simply to impart knowledge of the various disciplines, but more importantly should give students the tools whereby they can live a meaningful life, continuing to gain knowledge through their individual study. These tools will include the ability to reason from premise to conclusion, to distinguish, to articulate well, and to persuade. These educational techniques, which have produced the outstanding men and women who have fashioned our world in the last two millennia, surely will continue to produce graduates who are capable of excellence in all areas of life, fully armed to meet the challenges of the third millennium.

It is our privilege to assist parents in this educational endeavor by promoting intellectual excellence and developing aesthetic appreciation in a disciplined atmosphere, which respects and instills the virtues of love and respect for others, responsibility, honesty, and integrity. These are the same virtues that are essential to a strong family, to a sense of responsible citizenship, and especially to an ever-deepening spiritual life.