(This post is part of the series on postsecondary education.)
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Today I revisited the post in which I enumerated the necessary content of education. I wrote,
I think I'm particularly interested in teasing apart education within the family and self-education. That is, the education that parents owe their children, and the education that people have a duty to seek for themselves. Both are mentioned in the documents, but it isn't always clear where one starts and the other ends -- in some cases the process must be begun by the parents and completed by the grown young person (or even continuing throughout life).
That is, I wanted to clarify the distinction between what the family (or teachers to whom they delegate the task) should teach the individual, and what the individual was responsible for developing in himself.
But when I wrote it, I organized the list of attributes mostly thematically: education must put subjects in proper perspective, education must teach discrimination between good and bad influences, education should include sexuality education in the context of self-giving, etc.
I've now been through that post yet again, point by point, occasionally double-checking against the source documents. I tried to sort out what aspects of education -- what knowledge, what skills -- the church recommends the family provide, and what aspects the individual must obtain for himself.
Here's my assessment, re-organized. The repetitiveness in some places comes from my dissecting multi-clause sentences into simple ones in order to enumerate each point separately.
Remember that "the family" includes other teachers to which the family delegates certain topics.
Knowledge, attitudes, and skills that THE FAMILY is expected to inculcate and teach
That true happiness is found in God alone, the source of every good.
That the human being is a person, not an object of trade.
The family teaches children the correct order of things.
The family teaches that the material and instinctual dimensions are subordinate to interior and spiritual ones.
The family teaches children freedom with regard to material goods, and that man is more precious for what he is than for what he has, by a simple and austere lifestyle.
The family should teach by example how to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the poor.
The family must teach children a sense of true justice, which leads to respect for the personal dignity of persons.
The family must teach children a sense of true love, understood as sincere solicitude and disinterested service.
The family must provide for children an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery.
The family must introduce children to personal dialogue with God.
The family must teach children to know God, to worship, and to love their neighbor.
The family must teach children the Gospel.
The family must teach children to avoid compromising and degrading influences.
The family must teach developing adolescents proper forms of human culture.
The family should educate children to have a mature sense of responsibility with which they can follow their vocation.
The family should educate children so that they can choose their state of life.
The family must educate children for life in such a way that each one may fully perform his or her role according to the vocation received from God.
The family should educate children so that, if they marry, they can by means of that education establish their own family in moral conditions which tend to promote or facilitate the establishment of that family.
The family should educate children so that, if they marry, they can by means of that education establish their family in social conditions which tend to promote or facilitate the establishment of that family.
The family should educate children so that, if they marry, they can by means of that education establish their family in economic conditions which tend to promote or facilitate the establishment of that family.
The family must begin remote preparation for marriage.
The family must train children to discover that they have a rich and complex psychology.
The family must train children to discover that they are endowed with a particular personality with its own strengths and weaknesses.
The family instills esteem for all authentic human values in interpersonal and in social relationships.
The family must nurse an understanding of the whole human person in which the values of intellect, will, conscience, and fraternity are preeminent.
The family must take great care about civic and political formation of youth so that all citizens can play their part in the life of the political community.
The family must train the children to express calm and objective judgments which will guide them in the choice or rejection of media that is available.
The family is called to give children a sex education that is built on the premise that love is self-giving.
The family that discerns the signs of God's call will devote special attention and care to education in virginity or celibacy as the supreme form of that self-giving that constitutes the meaning of human sexuality.
The family is called to give children a truly and fully personal, clear, and delicate sex education.
The family must guide attentively the child's sex education.
The family must educate the child for chastity.
The family must teach the children to know and respect the moral norms of human sexuality.
The family must show that marriage is a true vocation and mission, without excluding the possibility of priestly or religious life.
The family builds the proximate preparation for the sacraments of Christian marriage* upon the foundation laid in the remote preparation for marriage.
The family should, at the right moment, integrate the religious formation of young people with a preparation for life as a couple.
The family will teach, in that proximate preparation, that marriage is an interpersonal relationship of a man and a woman that has to be continually developed.
The family will encourage, in that proximate preparation, the study of the nature of conjugal sexuality.
The family will encourage in that proximate preparation the study of the nature of responsible parenthood, with the essential medical and biological knowledge connected with it.
The family will acquaint a person, in that proximate preparation, with correct methods for the education of children.
The family, in proximate preparation, will assist individuals in gaining the basic requisites for well-ordered family life, such as stable work, sufficient financial resources, sensible administration, notions of housekeeping.
The family, in proximate preparation, will prepare young people for the family apostolate, for collaboration with other families, and membership in groups set up for the human and Christian benefit of the family.
The family must begin the formation of the child's conscience, awakening the child to the knowledge and practice of the interior law.
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That is as good a place as any for a segue into the parts of his education that the individual has to take on. This is because the development of conscience, though begun by the parents and the teachers to which they delegate the task, is a lifelong process.
Many other parts of education necessarily build on latent competency that the parents must have introduced, but the individual is himself or herself responsible for acquiring that education.
Knowledge, attitudes, and skills that the individual is expected or encouraged to cultivate in himself -- building on the foundation laid by his parents
Each person must cultivate the skills of interiority: reflection, self-examination, introspection.
Each person must form his conscience to enjoin him to do good and to avoid evil.
Each person must form his conscience to judge particular choices, approving good and denouncing evil.
Each person must form his conscience to bear witness to the authority of truth in reference to God.
Each person must form his conscience to welcome the commandments.
An individual develops his authentic maturity by building on the virtue of chastity.
An individual becomes capable of respecting and fostering the nuptial meaning of the body by building on the virtue of chastity.
An individual grows responsibly in human sexuality by building on the moral norms that are taught by the parents.
An individual forms his character -- based on the esteem for authentic human values instilled by the parents.
An individual learns control and right use of one's inclinations -- based on the esteem for authentic human values instilled by the parents.
An individual develops the manner of regarding and meeting people of the opposite sex -- based on the esteem for authentic human values instilled by the parents.
Young people gain sensible administration and notions of housekeeping -- by building on their proximate preparation for marriage.
Each man has the duty to retain an understanding of the whole human person in which the values of intellect, will, conscience, and fraternity are preeminent.
A person is encouraged to continue his education through the proper use of leisure, including through spontaneous study and activity, through tourism, and through sports.
A Christian is encouraged to strive to understand the ways of thinking and judging of other men of their time.
A Christian is encouraged to blend new sciences and theories and the understanding of the most recent discoveries with Christian morality and the teaching of Christian doctrine.
A layperson is encouraged to receive a sufficient formation in theology.
A citizen must cultivate a generous and loyal spirit of patriotism, but without being narrow-minded.
A Christian must recognize the legitimacy of different opinions with regard to temporal solutions.
A Christian must respect citizens who, even as a group, defend their points of view by honest methods.
Those who are suited or can become suited should prepare themselves for politics.
Some laypersons are encouraged to devote themselves professionally to theology.
I hope this re-presentation has clarified the respective responsibilities. It still might be useful to revisit ideas of developed competency, latent competency, and expertise, as I developed them in a previous post.
A note on what is meant by "proximate" preparation for marriage and why parents are responsible:
Janet Smith writes, "Proximate preparation takes place as one moves into adulthood and begins to think about choosing a life partner. This might include some education in abstinence or sexuality in the schools." Adolescent age is implied; therefore, even if the preparation takes place in schools, parents are ultimately responsible. The term for pre-Cana formation, Engaged Encounter weekends, etc., is "immediate" preparation for the sacrament.