Fenwick considers our minds, our bodies and our faith to be gifts from God. It is our moral obligation to grow in all three of these areas.
By Gerald F. Lordan, O.P., Ph.D., Social Studies Teacher and Faculty Mentor
As some of us may know, Fenwick is the only high school sponsored by Dominican Friars in America. As such we are a national lighthouse for the Thomist educational philosophy.
Thomism evolved from the writing of St. Thomas Aquinas, O.P., an Italian Dominican (1225-1274). Aquinas was educated at the University of Paris by a German Dominican, St. Albert the Great, O.P. (1200-1280). It is the greatest joy of every teacher to be surpassed by his student. Thomas brought joy to the heart of Albert. St Dominic de Guzman, O.P. (1170-1221), a Spanish Dominican and the founder of the Order of Preachers, believed in an educated clergy. To that end he sent the Friars to study the Liberal Arts at the great universities of Medieval Europe. The liberal arts influence the Fenwick curriculum today.
A curriculum is the set of planned activities designed to change the observable behavior of a student. There is a curriculum continuum. One end of that continuum has a Roman influence. The word curriculum comes from the bales of straw that delineated the chariot race course in the Colosseum. The goal of this curriculum is to cover all the prescribed material and nothing but the prescribed material in the shortest possible amount of time. The other end of this continuum has a Chinese influence. It is the dao, the vast treeless grassy plain of western China. There is not a set course of travel. Everything looks the same in all directions all the way out to the horizon. One may, therefore, go wherever one wishes, when one wishes, at the speed one wishes.