A3 – Faith & Science in Catholic Schools
Presenter: Paul D’Hondt, Tara Cakebread (Huron-Perth)
Description: As our scientific understanding continues to increase, our students (and educators) may struggle to reconcile what our society touts as scientific progress and understanding, with what our faith tells us. Being unable to reconcile these two sources of knowledge can lead, in some cases, to our students separating what they believe from what they think. This project will be an attempt to explain some of the most common “hot spots” where people find conflict between science and Catholicism. Being a reference for teachers, topics such as evolution, stem cells, genetically modified organisms, the creation of the universe, and others could be discussed. Each section will indicate where in the Ontario Curriculum the topic at hand may arise, explain what science tells us about it, and finally what the Church has said about it. This will be a “quick reference guide” and will therefore also include references teachers could use to probe more deeply into the subject. This project will respond to the CCC mandate by providing a Catholic lens to contemporary scientific understandings and issues. By linking to various curriculum expectations and providing additional resources for educators, this project will allow our students and educators to more deeply explore our faith, further appreciate and be stewards of God’s work in our natural world. Although there are many resources (books, websites, videos, etc.) that attempt to reconcile science and Catholicism, there are no obvious pre-existing curricula that match the Ontario Curriculum expectations with scientific topics and explain them from a Catholic point-of-view in a way that is both useful and accessible to teachers.