Thomas Shields and the Renewal of Catholic Education
Imprint: Catholic Education Press
This book explores the contribution of the Rev. Dr. Thomas Shields (1862-1921) to Catholic education in the United States of America in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Fr. Shields was a pioneer in combining a career as an academic in Catholic University of America with the publication of many resources for schools. Given his pioneering role in aligning Catholic educational thought with emerging insights in the sciences, and his multi-layered commitment to Catholic education as scholar, author of textbooks and founder of initiatives in the field of Teacher Education, it seems fitting that his considerable body of work should be the subject of fresh scholarly investigation.
The book is in five parts. Part 1, "Catholicism as an Educational Movement", sets out the contours of the intellectual climate in which Shields operated and presents Catholicism as a dynamic educational movement. Part 2, "Responding to Progressive Thought", explores the relationship between Progressivism and Catholic Education, showing how the Catholic Church responded to the challenges presented by Progressive thought. Part 3, "Shields and the Reform of Pedagogy", examines both Shields’s general pedagogical principles and how they relate to Catholic education. Part 4, "Forming Teachers in Heart and Mind", considers Shields’ ideas on Catholic Teacher Formation, exploring issues such as culture, vocation, method and curriculum. Part 5, "The Catholic Education Series", explores selected examples from Shields’ Catholic Education Series to identify how his material for schools reflected, to a greater or lesser extent, his wider educational ideas.
As the present age is also witness to considerable and deep-rooted challenges to Catholic education and, indeed to the Catholic understanding of the human person, Shields’s work will inspire contemporary reform-minded Catholic educators to reassess and develop the mission of Catholic education in light of the traditions of the Church.