PRINCIPLES OF CATHOLICISM
- demonstrate a basic knowledge of the divisions of the Nicene Creed.
- demonstrate a familiarity with Mary and her role in salvation history.
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the connection between Christian faith and prayer and the service of others.
Now let's see what kinds of stuff my textbooks talk about:
- Doctrine of the Incarnation - definition and relational significance
- Grace and sin
- Heresies and councils
- Jesus' Annunciation, Nativity, childhood
- Mary, Immaculate Conception, Magnificat
- Baptism in the Jordan; John the Baptist
- Temptations in the desert; beginning of preaching
- Twelve Apostles
- Proclaiming the Kingdom - themes of the Kingdom
- Peoples' response to Jesus
- The New Commandment(s)
Now let's speculate on possible student misunderstandings:
- The usual misunderstandings about the Incarnation--Jesus as being not quite human; half-man half-god; not suffering or it being "easy" for Jesus to do what he did because he was God;
- Non-understanding of Grace--not in their vocabulary
- The Immaculate Conception = Jesus' conception
- The Commandment to love = "liking" everybody--sentimentalized idea of love
- Importance of money to life. Money = happiness
First, we need to divide the material into their three priorities: (1) Big Ideas and Core Tasks; (2) Important to Know and Do; and (3) Worth Being Familiar With
(1) Big Ideas and Core Tasks
- Sin and Grace;
- The Incarnation;
- Mary the Mother of God;
- Jesus' beginnings;
- The Messiahship of Christ
- Kingdom of God;
- Engage in acts of "Incarnational" love
- Identify temptations
- critique of worldly values vis-a-vis the Kingdom/beatitudes
(Understandings are below)
(2) Important to Know and Do
- Essential terms: incarnation, parable, grace, Original Sin, Nativity, Abba, Messiah, heresy, Nicene Creed, Immaculate Conception, Apostle, Beatitudes
- Places: Bethlehem, Nazareth, Galillee
(1) Worth Being Familiar With
- Early Councils in the Church
- Names of the Apostles
- The Beatitudes; Luke's version
Now, I need to remind myself about the characteristics of Understandings and Essential Questions:
- Cause genuine and relevant inquiry into the Big Ideas and core content.
- Provoke deep thought, lively discussion, sustained inquiry, and new understanding as well as more questions.
- Require students to consider alternatives, weigh evidence, support their ideas, and justify their answers.
- Stimulate vital, ongoing rethinking of big ideas, assumptions, prior lessons.
- Spark meaningful connections with prior learning and personal experiences.
- Naturally recur, creating opportunities for transfer to other situations and subjects.
Also, EQs have the following types:
- Topical vs. Overarching
- Open vs. Guiding
Let's construct two pairs of matching topical and overarching questions related to this unit:
In the case of Understandings, it will be especially important to tie these to the "Big Ideas": symbolic communication, ritual, sacramental awareness, dual sense of sacrament, grace, sacred time
As with my "essential questions", I can synthesize these basically into two "Huge Ideas": the first dealing with human action and communication that is deliberately meaningful, and the second dealing with the presence and movement of God within that action. Let's take those two and extract some understandings that we can pick from.
Why study ritual? So what? - Ritual is as old as human kind, from which we infer that something in human nature craves ritual. Ritual seems to be a very basic and universal way that humankind communicates with reality, both seen and unseen. No other human phenomenon--not entertainment, labor, or even sex--has commanded quite the depth, seriousness, and profundity as ritual--except when these things have been integrated with it.
What larger concept, issue, or problem underlies ritual? - Ritual is deeply ingrained in our nature, but in our alienation and our modernity, we have lost touch with the skills and habits of ritual people. Specifically, our perception has become literal, and it has become more and more difficult to see with poetic and spiritual eyes.
What couldn't we do if we didn't understand ritual? - Besides completely missing the point of the Mass and being unable to participate in it mindfully, if we do not educate ourselves about ritual, our understanding of human beings will be very incomplete. More to the point, if we do not develop skills in perceiving and acting through symbol and ritual, we ourselves will be incomplete--our view and our understanding will be truncated, bare, and literalistic.
blah blah blah. I have to watch the clock here, so I'm going to skip the rest of this and get straight to the point. Some things I need to keep in mind:
An Understanding is: (note that there is an 'or' between each of these)
An important inference, drawn from the experience of experts, stated as a specific and useful generalization.
A transferable, big idea having enduring value beyond a specific topic.
An abstract, counterintuitive, and easily misunderstood idea.
Best acquired by "uncovering" (i.e., it must be developed inductively, coconstructed by learners) and "doing" the subject (i.e., using the ideas in realistic settings and with real-world problems.
A summary of important strategic principles in skill areas.
It has endured over time and across cultures because it has proven so important and useful.
It should endure in the mind of the student because it will help the student make sense of the content and it will enable transfer of the key ideas.
Two matched pairs of understandings:
Topical: A sacramental awareness consists of symbolic communication and a spiritual openness to God's presence in the ordinary. Overarching: Ritual is a basic way that we collectively communicate with reality, both seen and unseen.
Topical: The traditional forms of Catholic worship serve as mutual communications in the relationship between the Church and the Lord; this is the source of their power. Overarching: Our choices in prayer are relevant to God insofar as they manifest our will (or lack thereof) to holy love.
GOOD. I spent a lot of time on that. Moving on.
IF the desired result is for learners to...
A sacramental awareness consists of symbolic communication and a spiritual openness to God's presence in the ordinary.
Ritual is a basic way that we collectively communicate with reality, both seen and unseen.
The traditional forms of Catholic worship serve as mutual communications in the relationship between the Church and the Lord; this is the source of their power.
Our choices in prayer are relevant to God insofar as they manifest our will (or lack thereof) to holy love.
And thoughtfully consider the QUESTIONS:
Why does the Catholic Church use ritual as a means of transmitting the goods offered by Jesus?
What difference does it make in life whether one operates with a symbolic awareness or a purely literal awareness?
What role do time and rubrics play in the Catholic sacramental vision?
Does God care about how or when we pray?
Then, you need evidence of the student's ability to...
Natural objects and phenomena for theological meaning
Designing a meaningful opening ritual
Interpreting actions and gestures of ancient ritual
SEE FROM THE POINTS OF VIEW OF
Faithful Catholics in locales where sacramental awareness is still strong
Those for whom ritual--a Rosary, a prayer--has become their last grasp on life's meaning.
One's own level of "sacramental awareness".
What messages God may be trying to communicate that have gone unheard.
So the assessments need to require something like...