As Brothers of the Sacred Heart, we inherit a tradition of quality Catholic education. This tradition stems from the religious commitment, personal dedication, and professional competence of the many men, past and present, who have devoted themselves to the education of youth. Our tradition in education has developed as each generation of teachers has learned the lessons of experience from previous generations.
While our philosophy and teaching methods share many aspects in common with all of Catholic education, particularly Catholic education directed by religious communities, over the years we have developed a basic educational philosophy and fundamental pedagogical techniques which have become our hallmark. This educational spirit is lived out in the attitudes, values, and practices that we have traditionally emphasized. We value our spirit and wish for it to continue to play a major part in the role of Catholic education. We want to retain our educational heritage and share it with future Brothers and with the dedicated lay people who join us in the educational apostolate.
We believe in a holistic approach to education. We believe that a young person learns from his or her total experience of the school setting. We attempt to address the religious, academic, social, psychological, physical, and cultural development of the young person through the school’s programs, courses, and policies.
Because we believe that a student learns through his or her experience of the total school environment, we devote ourselves to build within the school a community spirit that is characterized by a pervading influence of Christian values, a strong insistence on an orderly and disciplined atmosphere, a personal approach to education, and a firm commitment to academic excellence.
The most important aspect of any Catholic education is the development of Christian values and the transmission of Catholic heritage. We accept this task as the call of the Church and as the primary goal of our school apostolate. Our efforts to have religion permeate the school environment include directing religion and campus ministry programs with a pastoral orientation, modeling Christian values in dealings with others, providing religious activities in the school calendar and religious symbols in school facilities, including Church teachings and Christian values as essential components of instruction in all disciplines, and committing ourselves to service to others. In general, we aim to help students experience religion as being loved by a personal and loving God who cares for them and who is the ultimate source of true happiness and freedom.
We also believe that an orderly and disciplined environment is essential to teach love of God, love of neighbor, and love of learning. Our emphasis is on “friendly discipline” which admonishes and corrects, but at the same time teaches and encourages. While we expect and demand respect for authority and adherence to rules and regulations, we advocate discipline that is respectful of the dignity of the individual, is consistent and fair, and is based on a relationship of mutual trust and cooperation.
To promote an environment characterized by Christian concern and friendly discipline, we attempt to know our students personally and individually. We look for opportunities to be and work with students outside of class time and in less formal settings. Realizing our partnership with parents in the education process, we extend a warm and friendly welcome to parents. We give our personal attention to developing a spirit of openness and cordial relations with students and parents.
We view academic excellence as the development of each student to the maximum of his or her potential. We commit ourselves to this goal as a means of helping students become the whole and complete persons that God created them to be. To accomplish this, we pursue our own ongoing professional development, establish a demanding curriculum that emphasizes command of the basics, work at presenting well-prepared and interesting classes, and continually adapt our curriculum and methodologies to meet changing needs.
In summary, education according to the tradition of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart is holistic education rooted in religious values, structured through friendly discipline, nurtured by personal attention, and committed to academic excellence. While such an approach to education may not be unique to us, it is characteristic of us. This educational spirit consists of ideals and practices that we, through experience and reflection, have grown to value as essential to our school apostolate.
The following pages expand upon this general description of our educational spirit. They describe essential components of instruction, formation, and witness in the Brothers of the Sacred Heart educational tradition. They are not a comprehensive treatment of what is or should be, but explain those values and practices that are characteristic of our approach to education. Also included is an ideal profile of a graduate of a Brothers of the Sacred Heart school.