Roots

Guiding Principles

Sacred Heart educators share certain fundamental principles which frame the philosophy of Sacred Heart education and influence their pedagogical practices.

Mission-Centered

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  • Goals & Criteria

    The mission of Sacred Heart education is articulated in the Goals and Criteria.  They capture the principles of Catholic education as infused by Saint Madeleine Sophie’s charism and the spirit of the Society of the Sacred Heart.

Alignment

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  • Heart, mind & will

    The intention of the curriculum is to ensure students develop informed, active faith, critical thinking and compassion. Cultivating critical thinking and lively faith our students develop essential skills for a meaningful life. Ideally, they build the foundation to be people of integrity whose hearts, minds and wills are aligned.

Student-Centered

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  • Intentional & progressive

    Decisions regarding programs and curriculum are student-centered. Education is a deliberate practice of drawing out learning (educere), of encouraging and giving time to discovery. It is an intentional act. Intellectual training is in itself a means of developing virtues and habits which have much to with the ability to live a fully human life.

Relational

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  • Presence & Encounter

    Education serves as the means by which students and adults experience confirmation of their human dignity. Within a dynamic of relationships that respond to the dignity of the other, students and educators come to know and experience God’s love.  To learn in a Sacred Heart school culture means to touch the face of God and to reveal God's face to the other. At Sacred Heart schools we believe that Christ is at the center of all relationships. School communities are Christ-centered cultures in which the spiritual lives of community members are fostered. At the heart of the educational process we recognize that Jesus Christ is present in the students and in the educators. Encountering Christ strengthens each one’s sense of dignity and inspires all with the hope and confidence essential to move forward. 

Faith as a Way of Knowing

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  • Active & informed

    Education is the process of inviting truth and possibility. Within this process, faith is seen as an essential way of knowing. Based on spiritual conviction rather than proof, faith advances a way of knowing that transcends proof. Faith explores understanding of that which is beyond what can be seen and/or proven to that which is intuitively known to be true. Faith deals with that which is neither objective or subjective but transcendent. In the spirit of Madeleine Sophie who believed faith could only be active if it was informed, Sacred Heart educators sense that reason nourishes faith and faith strengthens reasons. In becoming persons of faith and compassion, students develop nimbleness and discipline as thinkers. 
Schools of the Sacred Heart share in the educational mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart as articulated in the Goals and Criteria. The structure supporting Sacred Heart education in Canada and the United States includes the Conference of Sacred Heart Education and the Network of Sacred Heart Schools.  Together they provide services and programs to ensure vitality of mission for the member schools sponsored by the Society of the Sacred Heart.