Towards a Catholic philosophy of education: The personalism of Karol Wojtyla and the education of the human person

James Thomas Byrnes, Fordham University

Abstract

Using the methodology of documentary analysis, this study seeks to examine selected writings of Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) as they apply to education in order to investigate whether Wojtyla's philosophy could provide present-day Catholic school educators with an educational philosophy which, while remaining faithful to the philosophical tradition of the Catholic church concerning education, acknowledges and incorporates the innovations in philosophical thought in the 20th century. Wojtyla's philosophy of education is explored using his major philosophical themes of person and act, community, solidarity and participation, as well as his extensive papal writings and allocutions to young people. Within this, presentation, certain criticisms of Wojtyla's philosophical thought are presented in order to help clarify the research question. ^ Following the analysis of Wojtyla's thought, it is concluded that Wojtyla did offer a philosophy of education which helps Catholic school educators understand why what they do each day works so well for their students. Wojtyla presents a view of the human person which is very much person-centered and based upon individual experiences of self, while maintaining that the being (the suppositum) of the person pre-exists any experience. Thus he has taken from both the “old” and the “new.” His thought has helped move Catholic educational philosophy toward being more person “centered,” by recognizing the need to be conscious of the personal experience of each student. ^

Subject Area

Education, Philosophy of

Recommended Citation

James Thomas Byrnes, "Towards a Catholic philosophy of education: The personalism of Karol Wojtyla and the education of the human person" (January 1, 2000). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9960947.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9960947

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