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our-philosophy

Our Philosophy

Aquinas Academy follows the educational philosophy proposed by the Catholic Church, grounded in Catholic teaching about the meaning and purpose of the human person, and mediated for our particular circumstances by Catholic theology.

The English word “education” is derived from the Latin word “educare” which refers directly to “child-rearing.” In keeping with this meaning, Catholic educational philosophy recognizes that parents are given the responsibility of being the primary educators of their children. Teachers cooperate in the task of child-rearing as secondary educators. While a parent’s authority comes directly from Almighty God through nature, a Catholic teacher’s authority has three components: the authority that comes from the parents of their students; the authority that comes from the Catholic Church to preach the Gospel and everything that follows from it; and the authority that comes from Almighty God through nature.

How can you fit a man’s mind for living if you do not know
what the purpose of a man’s life is? (Frank Sheed)

Fundamental Reason

In order to cooperate effectively in the task of educating children, parents and teachers need to understand and agree on the meaning and purpose of human life. This is the fundamental reason that Catholic education must be guided by Catholic theology, because it is the task of theology to translate what Almighty God has revealed about humanity into theoretical and practical principles that articulate, among other things, the purpose and methodology of Catholic education. In other words, Catholic education can only be based on the truth about human nature and the purpose of human life.

At Aquinas Academy, therefore, we start with the Catholic teaching that human beings are called by Almighty God to know, love, and serve Him in this life and to be with Him forever in the next. In order to serve Almighty God, we need to start by knowing Him, which is necessary in order for us to love Him. Love of God is necessary in order to be motivated to serve Him by striving to do His will. There are two paths to knowledge of God: reason and revelation. Consistent with the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, we strive to help students to develop their reason and provide frequent occasions throughout the day where they can develop their faith by cooperating with God’s grace.

In curricular and methodological questions, we look first to the best that is offered by the Western educational tradition – a three thousand year old tradition that began in Greece – to help us choose the best methodology and content. Accordingly, we develop our lessons with a view toward helping students to form proper habits of the mind, will (character), and heart (sentiments).