God-Talk in Catholic High Schools: Theology Teachers Doing Theological Education for and with Religiously Diverse Student Populations
Portland State University. Department of Educational Leadership and Policy
Term of Graduation
Date of Publication
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction
Curriculum & Instruction
Catechetics -- Catholic Church, Christian education of teenagers, Non-Catholics in Catholic schools, Religious education – Curricula, Catholic Church -- Doctrines -- Outlines syllabi etc, Multicultural education -- United States, Catholic high schools
1 online resource (xv, 344 pages)
High school students deserve educations that honor and respect their cultural positionalities, of which religious beliefs are frequently an integral part. Almost 25% of students in Catholic high schools identify as non-Catholic, but the U.S. Catholic bishops have mandated that Catholic secondary theological education (through their 2008 Doctrinal Elements of a Curriculum Framework for the Development of Catechetical Materials for Young People of High School Age) be catechetical. In writing and promulgating this document, the bishops presupposed that Catholic schools' students are Catholic, or (should) desire to become Catholic. For decades, scholars have critiqued catechesis as an inappropriate mode of theological education for non-Catholic students. In Catholic schools, non-Catholic students are subject to systemic oppression on academic, religious, and cultural levels. The Framework fails religiously diverse students in its lack of relevance for and sensitivity to their beliefs.
In this qualitative interview study, I interviewed five theology teachers in Pacific Northwest Catholic high schools. I investigated their goals for theological education of religiously diverse students, how they meet the needs of such students, and how they diverge from the bishops' Framework in their teaching. I discovered that: my participants' experiences and educational backgrounds influence their approaches to theological education; my participants oppose catechesis as a mode of theological education in secondary education and instead strive to make theology relevant, responsive, and sustaining of their students' diverse beliefs; and that my participants follow the Framework's general structure, but diverge from and/or adapt its content in critical ways.
© 2021 David Michael Avram Gregory
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Gregory, David Michael Avram, "God-Talk in Catholic High Schools: Theology Teachers Doing Theological Education for and with Religiously Diverse Student Populations" (2021). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5857.