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Improving Students’ Knowledge of Catholic Faith

Full bibliographic information of source

Rymarz, R., & Gerard McLarney. (2011). Teaching about Augustine: Providing a scaffolding for learning. Journal of Adult Theological Education, 8(1), 53–64. Web.

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Stated research question and thesis

The research question is how American Catholic youth’s lack of knowledge of their faiths can be amended. The thesis is that teaching them with an emphasis on seminal thinkers, such as Augustine, will improve their overall knowledge of the Catholic faith.

Major argument and refutations

The text’s major argument is that the best approach to teaching about seminal thinkers is to structure the mentorship process as scaffolding for the new information. A possible objection to this proposition is that Augustine’s legacy can be too complex to be easily communicated to youth. The authors address this objection by listing specific strategies with examples, such as using controversy or weaving a life-related narrative as the titular scaffolding for future learning.

Implications of research

The implications of the research are to identify seminal Catholic thinkers and educate Catholic youth about their conceptual importance to promote overall theological literacy.

Critique of author’s work including methods

One criticism of the article is that it does not always distinguish clearly between the “scaffolding” and the relatively complex concepts it is meant to support. It is particularly evident in the discussion of the “nominating key ideas” strategy, as Augustine’s key ideas are bound to be the very same complex concepts that the authors advise to prepare the students for in advance (Ryrarz & McLarney, 2011, p. 59). Another criticism is that the authors do not connect the laypeople’s insufficient theological knowledge to the overall quality of theological education. In contrast, Shaw (2014) argues that the Catholic theological education experiences a general crisis, meaning that the laypeople’s relative illiteracy may just be a symptom of a broader problem.

Research questions raised

  • What is the general approach that could allow Catholic youth to learn more effectively about their faith?
  • What are the specific teaching strategies that can be used for this purpose?

Quotes that can be used towards mentorship and business

“A strong pedagogical strategy is to think in terms of providing scaffolding for future learning” (Ryrarz & McLarney, 2011, p. 55). This quote illustrates how the gradual accumulation of knowledge takes place in mentorship.

“This is not intended as the end of the educational dialogue or conversation but as a prelude to the student being able to engage on their own terms with some of the seminal claims of a religious tradition” (Ryrarz & McLarney, 2011, p. 62). This quote highlights that the end goal of mentorship is the development of an independent thinker able to tackle intellectual problems on one’s own.

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References

Shaw, P. (2014). Transforming theological education: A practical handbook for integrated learning. Langham.

Rymarz, R., & Gerard McLarney. (2011). Teaching about Augustine: Providing a scaffolding for learning. Journal of Adult Theological Education, 8(1), 53–64. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2023, January 23). Improving Students’ Knowledge of Catholic Faith. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/improving-students-knowledge-of-catholic-faith/

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StudyCorgi. (2023, January 23). Improving Students’ Knowledge of Catholic Faith. https://studycorgi.com/improving-students-knowledge-of-catholic-faith/

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StudyCorgi. "Improving Students’ Knowledge of Catholic Faith." January 23, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/improving-students-knowledge-of-catholic-faith/.

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StudyCorgi. 2023. "Improving Students’ Knowledge of Catholic Faith." January 23, 2023. https://studycorgi.com/improving-students-knowledge-of-catholic-faith/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2023) 'Improving Students’ Knowledge of Catholic Faith'. 23 January.

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