Fr. Edward Leen CSSP: What is Education? (Part Three)


Here is the final article of three, on an understanding of what education is. These posts originate in notes I had previously written during a professional development conference.

As mentioned in part one the notes are based on the spiritual writings of Fr. Edward Leen CSSP.

What is Education? (part three)

Without giving the students ‘learning tools’, education is a failure. The student must understand, through education, what success is.

What is a successful life? This not not the same as a successful career! To fail as a man or a woman, is to fail in life. In the end, it is absolutely necessary to be a real man or woman.

Christian Education is to successfully live in The City of God even though we live in The City of Man. Some students fail as they will not profit from education.

The Church, through its encyclicals, shows us how to teach.

It is the responsibility of the parents to teach their children, with the assistance of the teacher and the Catholic school. Proper religious education and educational philosophy underpins a good education.

A teacher must have the correct notion of what is a real man and a real woman. In this, there must be unity of ideal among the whole staff, not just the principal, in the formation of the child.


In modern education systems, repression is bad and arduous tasks are frowned upon.

Education should not foster spontaneity or impulsiveness. Teachers must recognise the tendencies of Original Sun when they educate their students.

Students have two types of nature: positive and negative. Correct education, seizes on the positive, whilst checking the negative tendencies that come from original sin.

Through the grace of a supernatural life we can be supermen. A student’s formation therefore must involve the removal of their impurities.

Education must be broad and based on the Liberal Arts.

Laziness of mind or body prevents the development of the intellect. Sustained and challenging hard intellectual work is vital for formation.

It is important to train the Will to fortify the person against the immorality in the world. Students need to look for the truth, not to follow blindly the fashions of the day and mass opinion.

The student must not take things at face value but hold it up to the truth. Thus the intellect and the Will go hand in hand.

Consistent effort in all areas of a student’s life is important as it strengthens the Will.

Bodily vigour is important insofar as it helps to make the mind think more clearly. Team sports for instance, help to foster teamwork not individualism and selfishness.

In the end, professional success is not necessarily indicative of success in life: What does it profit a man if he loses his soul?

Final Reflection for Teachers: Am I performing my duties of State to the best of my ability?

Part one here. Part two here.

For more posts on Character building see here. Protection Status

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