REFLECTION BY: Meghan Schofield
As the summer months begin to fade and faint stirrings in classroom hallways are heard once again, we turn our minds to a fresh beginning, a new start, a new school year. For me, as a curriculum writer, this season has its own freshness as I pray, work, put pen to paper and watch Rooted: Theology of the Body Grades 6-8 come to life.
Just the other day I was speaking with a fellow teacher, and we were discussing the most effective ways to talk about the tough issues with young people. We kept coming back round again and again to a certain set of basic, foundational, building-block concepts that paved the way for answering their questions in a more complete way. Objective truth vs. relativism; true freedom vs. license; the matter-form relation; the animal-human distinction – these were just a few of the topics discussed. By showing the link between these important ideas and the concrete situations they are inquiring about, one can begin to open the young person’s mind to a deeper and more satisfying answer. This is something I have in the forefront of my mind as the Grade 6 Pilot is written.
It is the hope that the themes dealt with in the Rooted: Theology of the Body supplemental curriculum reach to the deepest foundational level possible. Specific, topical, or cultural questions are not always dealt with directly in the lesson. This is intentional. The reason is two-fold: First, by providing foundational principles that can be operative in a wide variety of situations, we are actually expanding the student’s capacity to think through and answer more scenarios than if we simply chose a handful of case-studies. Second, the Theology of the Body is not able to be relegated to a specific subject in school – it has far reaching connections that are not only inter-disciplinary, but also impossible to encapsulate in a complete way.
To that end, I will be including in the 6-8th Grade materials a short Resource section for the Teacher to help bring out these connections. In this section, I seek to anticipate possible specific or cultural questions connected to the theme that may arise during the Unit. Troubleshooting tips for difficult questions or concepts, and possible approaches to answers will be provided. This is just a starting point to help in creating your own list of questions and answers, based on your specific group. In addition, Tips for Discussion and Helpful Quotes from the Theology of the Body will be given to help guide and direct conversations with your students.
I’m really excited to share the final product with you, and help you in this journey of discovery with those young people in your life. But for now, let’s hold onto those long summer days, and take in the beauty that surrounds us.
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