Excerpt from an article written by Fr. Dwight Longenecker.
The complete article can be found at InsideCatholic.com.
If the educator accompanies the student as he verifies the truth, then a new perspective is opened up on the educational process. In a Catholic school, the mission becomes not simply to produce good examination results to get students into good colleges. Neither is the sole purpose simply to produce “good Catholics” who learn to “pray, pay, and obey.”
Instead, every subject is taught with the critical instinct fully engaged. The reasonableness and necessity of every subject is verified, and the students are truly educated rather than simply given facts. When an entire school embraces the vision of “verifying the truth,” the students are given an overarching principle of education that enables them to draw together the different strands of education and experience in order to prepare them for life’s adventure.
Engaging the critical instinct in education also brings teenagers into a higher level of responsibility. If he is simply learning facts, the student is not taking responsibility for his learning. But if he is engaging the critical instinct, he is automatically responsible for what he learns. As this becomes a habitual way of responding to his world, the student learns in a most natural way how to apply this critical instinct to every other aspect of life, and so learns to take responsibility for his thoughts, words, and actions.