Schools confront the globalisation of superficiality


We live in an Australia of burgeoning secularism, one where individual choice can be seen as its own justification. Within this context, educators of young people, particularly within the Catholic system, face two challenges in particular: the need to educate for choice, and the need to educate for depth.

Confronting today's young people are choices of an extensive nature, far more than confronted their parents — not just choices of websites, or choices of TV stations, or choices of stores in shopping centres, but also choices concerning values and beliefs and lifestyles.

A choice enables us to be free, but choice is not its own justification. Education about choice is a real challenge for those charged with forming the young.

Five or six years ago, Allen Close wrote an article in the Weekend Australian in which he reflected on his generation, which was then just touching 40. He was struck by the childlessness of so many of his social circle and of the failure of himself and others from his circle to have established sustained relationships. He wrote:

What happened that so many of us have ended up entering middle age the way we have, on a grim treadmill of hope and disappointment. Our marriages ending, our families are split asunder, our assumptions about life devolving into confusion and loneliness?

Bishop Greg O’Kelly is Bishop of Port Pirie and the Australian Bishops’ delegate for education.


Schools confront the globalisation of superficiality (Eureka Street)