Originally Posted by "murph182"
For all of thier faults (and believe me, I experience quite a few) Catholic schools tend to provide a pretty solid education, especially in high school. I was exposed to more different belief systems and cultural philosophies than I can remember, without the limitations placed on public schools when it comes to talking about religion.
I had a similar experience, actually. Even though I'm not Catholic, I went to Catholic schools since kindergarten. Religion was absolutely not discussed anywhere else but in "religion" class. All the other classes remained true to their title, completely unadulterated with religious theory (for lack of a better word). I honestly don't remember any of my science teachers bringing God into the class discussion. When we were learning about the theories of how the Earth came to be (big bang comes to mind), I can honestly say that we only discussed the big-bang theory -- openly, honestly, and without any religious influence. We had science textbooks written by real scientists, and we were taught the theories as they are written in the books. I for one feel that I received a very good and well-rounded education growing up, relatively speaking. The classes were small, so there was always a good teacher:student ratio. We got plenty of attention from the teachers, and they actually gave a damn about our performance. I hope I'm not speaking out of my ass, but I am honestly convinced that they were not just there to waste time and collect a paycheck. I hope my school wasn't the only one like that.
Many of the kids in my high school were either non-Catholic or non-religious, believe it or not. That made it quite interesting because they would always bring other rspectives into the discussions, often times with hillarious results. I remember once in theology class we got on the topic of masturbation because someone brought it up. An old nun ("sister"
was teaching this class at the time. Of course, being a religion class, she brought her religious perspective into it, and said "well -- if you really must spill your seed, I would rather you have sex and share it with someone than waste it". Coming from an old nun, that made for a memorable moment. Her delivery of that line was perfect because she had a great (and funny) personality.
Were there any problems with the Catholic schools that I went to? Yeah, they were expensive! I think you get what you pay for, though. If not, all you need to do is complain, and things get done. There isn't a bureaucracy to fight through. It's entirely your own money that's funding your child's education, and they acknowledge that. They have to, for the sake of their own existance. One of the other main problems I remember is that some of our textbooks were pretty worn from use sometimes. They can't afford to buy new textbooks all the time, unfortunately. They were almost always very good textbooks, though (at least I think so). There were probably other little things, too, but I don't recall off hand. Oh, and there wasn't any free food in the caffeteria, ever.
I must say though, some of the girls in Catholic school had *NO* reservations whatsoever; especially as compared to the girls that went to the nearby public high school.
You wouldn't think it in a million years, but wow.... good times
Originally Posted by "murph182"
I fail to see how we can produce citizens capable of rational discussions on, and critical thinking about, religion and it's place in society when the government won't let them learn about it in school. But like I said, there's always some jerkass that manages to screw it up for the rest of us.
Ignorance is indeed a key proponent in all the misunderstanding and harsh sentiment that exist. Both religious and non-religious folk are guilty of this. By not allowing religion to be discussed, the non-religious are doing the same exact thing that the fundamentalists are doing with evolution -- trying to erase it from existance (within their own realm, at least). It's hypocritical for one group to say that the other isn't allowing certain ideas to be considered. Thankfully, in the school that I went to, we got the full monty. Nothing was left out. Had it been a fundamentalist Christian school like those that murph mentioned in the south and midwest, I would have missed out on so much science that I know and love (I'm sort of a geek, and an engineering major). Had I gone to a public school, I would have come out close-minded and angry at the world
Just kidding ;-) I definately don't think my education would have been as well-rounded because of the censorship and lack of personal attention and genuine concern from the faculty. Censorship is a bad thing in education, I think. "Fundie" schools and public schools are both guilty as I see it.