Posted by Professor Br David Hall FMS
on 19 August 2020
Do you miss school? Many friends and colleagues still ask me this question even though I am into my sixth year at ACU. I love what I do here in the La Salle Academy and yet deep down the answer is, Yes! During my 'at home' clean-up moments when COVID-19 restrictions were in place, I came across a wonderful book of photos and memoirs gifted to me by the Graduating Class of 2014, in my final year as Principal at Marcellin College Randwick. Memories of these students and the thousands of other Catholic school graduates I have known came flooding back. So many fine young people and a few who were yet to become so! I wondered about some them, where they were, and what they had become. I wondered about what they had made of the gift of their Catholic education.
As Catholic school educators we are rightly focused on two pre-eminent matters: the quality of learning and our Catholic identity and mission. All too often we separate these inseparable things. We search for ways of validating that we have been successful in our quest but I think we have taken our eye off the most profound indicator the graduates of our schools. This is where we see our efforts in an integrated, more wholistic, profound way. If this is the case, it's worth considering what a Catholic school graduate might 'look like'. As we seek to identify indicators, we need to take a step back and consider this in a deep, disciplined fashion.
I hope the attached document, the latest in the La Salle Publications series, is useful as you muse over these questions. Deep Learning, Thriving Lives: The attributes of Catholic school graduates, has been written for La Salle by Dr Michael Bezzina. I commend it to your reading. In the coming weeks I will send you a hard copy of the paper.
You can order further hard copies via our website: Order Form
Please feel free to distribute the attached soft copy to any colleagues you think might be interested in this work.