Extra-Curriculum, Co-Curriculum, or Hidden Curriculum: Developmental and Educational Experiences with Sports, Arts, and Service Activities in Catholic Schools

Andrew Guest, University of Portland

Description

Catholic schools have a particular tradition of excellence in the types of sports, arts, and service activities that have a prominent role in contemporary American education and youth culture. In recent years, for example, when Sports Illustrated magazine rated the top High School athletic programs in the United States over half (13 of the 25) were Catholic schools, despite the fact that only about six percent of American high schools are Catholic. Likewise, though other types of activity programs are harder to quantify, many Catholic schools have extensive and high quality offerings in music, drama, community service, and other domains that serve to build community, engage students, and attract attention—sometimes for good and sometimes for ill. This paper addresses several questions deriving from the prominence of these activities in Catholic schools. What are some of the social, historical, and educational reasons for the particular role of activities in Catholic education? And what does the prominence of these activities mean for the developmental and educational experiences of students? The broad argument here, drawing on a combination of field research with activity programs in Catholic high schools and scholarly perspectives from social science, is that the particular tradition of activities in Catholic education depends upon balancing pragmatic considerations related to viability and philosophical considerations related to the educational mission of Catholic schools. The paper also offers suggestions for how to think about that balance in ways that facilitate the developmental and educational experiences of students, with particular attention to socioeconomic inequalities.

 
Jun 21st, 9:00 AM Jun 21st, 10:15 AM

Extra-Curriculum, Co-Curriculum, or Hidden Curriculum: Developmental and Educational Experiences with Sports, Arts, and Service Activities in Catholic Schools

Catholic schools have a particular tradition of excellence in the types of sports, arts, and service activities that have a prominent role in contemporary American education and youth culture. In recent years, for example, when Sports Illustrated magazine rated the top High School athletic programs in the United States over half (13 of the 25) were Catholic schools, despite the fact that only about six percent of American high schools are Catholic. Likewise, though other types of activity programs are harder to quantify, many Catholic schools have extensive and high quality offerings in music, drama, community service, and other domains that serve to build community, engage students, and attract attention—sometimes for good and sometimes for ill. This paper addresses several questions deriving from the prominence of these activities in Catholic schools. What are some of the social, historical, and educational reasons for the particular role of activities in Catholic education? And what does the prominence of these activities mean for the developmental and educational experiences of students? The broad argument here, drawing on a combination of field research with activity programs in Catholic high schools and scholarly perspectives from social science, is that the particular tradition of activities in Catholic education depends upon balancing pragmatic considerations related to viability and philosophical considerations related to the educational mission of Catholic schools. The paper also offers suggestions for how to think about that balance in ways that facilitate the developmental and educational experiences of students, with particular attention to socioeconomic inequalities.

http://pilotscholars.up.edu/garaventa_conf/CEC2013/june21/2