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Title: Towards a theory of Catholic education
Author: Whittle, Sean
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 5222
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis is about the construction of a theory of Catholic education and schooling that is both coherent and defendable. As such it addresses normative questions about the nature and purpose of Catholic education and schooling. It presents and defends an argument about how theology can be used to inform and guide the development of a robust theory of Catholic education. The primary premise is the claim that existing attempts to account for the theory of Catholic education suffer from a number of deficiencies. It is argued that this is a serious situation because in the opening decades of the twenty-first century Catholic education faces many threats and challenges. The argument begins by mapping out the difficult situation that Catholic education currently finds itself in. Catholic education stands in need of a developed and robust theory of education that will allow it repair the deficiencies and overcome the threats. The argument in this thesis is presented in two interconnected stages. In the first stage the focus is on explaining and demonstrating the deficiencies and flaws in the theory of Catholic education as it currently stands. This involves engaging in a critical analysis of the official Catholic Church teachings on Catholic education and schooling. The weaknesses in this teaching are reflected in the writings of leading Catholic thinkers, most notably Newrnan and Maritain. In differing ways both fall short of providing the theoretical underpinning that is needed to robustly defend Catholic education. The focus in the second stage moves on from the critical analysis in order to launch into the more positive task of theory construction. This is a theoretical thesis that appeals to Neurath's metaphor of the boat as a helpful methodological image to guide the construction of a robust theory of Catholic education. This involves recasting the weaknesses and concerns identified in the first stage in to the planks on the vessel that need to be repaired or replaced. This repair work is completed through drawing inspiration from the Catholic theologian Karl Rahner.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available