Saint Augustine on Education
Who is Saint Augustine and what was his understanding of education?
Saint Augustine is perhaps one of the greatest Christian writers of all time. He was the son of Patricius, a pagan and Monica, a Christian. He was born in Tagaste in North Africa. He was educated in the Latin Grammar School located on Madaura and the School of Rhetoric in Carthage. He would go on to hold several prominent teaching positions which would lead him to Rome.
As he entered into Rome, his life would begin an awesome transformation from someone living outside of the faith to someone who would become one of its most prominent teachers. For Augustine, the gift of education was one not to be taken for granted. He professed that truth and goodness exist only in God. It is both eternal and unchanging. Augustine loved wisdom. It is a gift from God. There must exist within education a love of learning.
Saint Augustine taught that the content of a child's education must include all fields of study in order that the student learn to appreciate the contents of Sacred Scripture.
He had a profound effect on the system of education. He believed that the young should be encouraged to partake of hard thinking and to value their own intellectual powers. He desired that all students become critical thinkers.
Lastly, Saint Augustine professed that there could exist within education no racial divide. He strongly believed in the unity of the human race. He believed that everyone is called to the one dignity, one destiny, the one Communion of peace. He cut across the social framework of the time.
In summary, a school in the image of Saint Augustine's view of education is communal, friendly, seeking truth and engaged in the current issues facing the students and the world. One would be correct to say that Saint Augustine would be happy with our motto of "Faith-Family-Future."