Rationale for Catholic Teacher Education

Catholic Teacher Education (CTE) is the aggregation of academic and pastoral processes which inform the development of those who aspire to teach in Catholic schools. CTE equips intending teachers in Catholic schools with the content knowledge and methodological awareness necessary to be a successful teacher in the contemporary Catholic school. Underpinning the formation of Catholic teachers is the need to integrate a host of professional and religious values into their personal lives and so exhibit the unity of life which is at the heart of sound Catholic education.

Pathways within Catholic Teacher Education

There are many pathways available in CTE. Undergraduate and post-graduate programmes offer different experiences of higher education and professional study. What is essential to both routes is that the prospective Catholic teacher receives high-quality academic experience in Catholic theology and the philosophy of Catholic education. Alongside this necessary academic work, there should be plentiful opportunities for the spiritual and pastoral formation.

The Role of the Church in Catholic Teacher Education

There are many ways in which the local Church will continue to show a commitment to teacher education: a) it will support a dedicated institute/school/centre of CTE; b) it will encourage any Catholic university or college to offer, where possible, programmes of study in areas related to CTE and c) it will seek to enter into partnership with established universities and colleges in order to provide suitable programmes of study for students who intend to teach in Catholic schools. In all cases, the local Church should offer pastoral and financial support as appropriate by way of chaplaincies and student societies

Aims of Catholic Teacher Education

At the end of a programme of CTE, the successful participant should demonstrate the following broad characteristics:

  • a commitment to excellence in all aspects of classroom practice;
  • an appreciation of the Church’s educational mission in its schools and other educational agencies;
  • a commitment to developing the religious and moral development of children and young people in partnership with the local Church and its agencies;
  • a commitment to the promotion of human and religious values both in and beyond the school which is sensitive to the needs of children and young people;
  • a willingness to prepare for and take up leadership opportunities in Catholic schools with a view to enhancing the mission of the Catholic school;
  • an awareness of the value of career-long professional development in all aspects of Catholic education – including the need for continuous theological formation.