Science and the Catholic Church (Spring)
Enrollment and Placement
To help ensure that students enroll in the correct course levels, Scholé Academy requires many students to complete placement evaluations. Placement evaluations are only provided to students after the corresponding course registration has been completed. A placement assessment will be required in the following situations:
- if the student falls outside of the stated age/grade range for the class.
- if the student needs to demonstrate a certain level of skill and proficiency for the course.
- if the student has completed prerequisite requirements somewhere other than Scholé Academy (e.g., at home or with another school). In this case, our instructors will need to verify that the student has adequately fulfilled the prerequisite requirements.
- if a placement assessment has been recommended by a Scholé Academy instructor.
First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Parents are encouraged to connect with the Scholé Academy Principal and/or with the course instructor to make the best enrollment decision for their student.
Registration is not finalized until the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.
There is a $75 deposit built into the cost of each course.
- Withdrawals requested before May 1 are granted a full refund, including the full $75 deposit.
- On May 1 and before July 31 withdrawals are granted a full tuition refund less the $75 deposit.
- On August 1 and before the drop/add deadline, withdrawals are granted a ½ tuition refund
View our full assessment policies and enrollment and withdrawal policies in the Student-Parent Handbook.
In our modern moment, the public narrative pits science against Christianity. Adherents of one simply cannot adhere to the tenets and truths of the other, so it seems, and our young Catholic students are perpetually hearing about their church’s squelching of Galileo, Copernicus, and other Heroes of Modern Science in particular.
And yet, is there truth to these claims? What actually happened in those controversies, and are they being portrayed accurately? Have there been Catholic laymen, vocations, and even saints among scientists? Is science inimical to faith, or vice versa? As Catholics, what can we hold forth from the nearly two thousand year history of our faith in support of science, and what can we say that science has also offered our faith as a reflection of God’s truth?
In this course, we will explore these questions through the lenses of scientific method, resources in Catholic theology from scripture to papal encyclicals, and informal logic. We will discuss readings, perform scientific experiments as they were historically performed, engage in Socratic discussion, and debate the merits of various perspectives and arguments often encountered along the frontiers of science and faith. We will learn about historical natural philosophers and scientists through the lenses of their writings, professional and personal, to see how they reconciled their craft and their faith. We will see in them, and in their work, echoes and shadows of our own time, our own concerns, and our own walks in faith.
As we wrangle with the ideas, narratives, and historical facts, we will form a picture of the relationship between science and faith that honors the notion that all Truth is God’s Truth, and that God has given us the tools of intellect and discernment to serve him in a variety of ways, alongside and in resonance with truth, hope, and love.
What is Science? What is Catholic Theology?
– the Scientific Process; revelation and theology
– how we argue and draw conclusion, focus on premises
– three perspectives on the cosmos- atheism, agnosticism, theism
– natural philosophy vs. science- what is the difference, how do we practice each?
Key Documents of the Catholic Church
– Scripture, Catechism, encyclicals, historical writings (Didache)
– How do conflicts arise between people, institutions, and between people and institutions?
Cases of Apparent Conflict
Mixed in at appropriate points throughout the course will be studies of various prominent Catholic scientists who exemplify both practice of natural philosophy/science and the Catholic faith.
REQUIRED COURSE TEXTS AND MATERIALS:
• New American Bible
• Catechism of the Catholic Church
• Commonplace notebook
• A variety of resources and course readings will be posted on the course website for students to download, print, and read. These will include excerpts from books, papal encyclicals, and articles relevant to the topics at hand.
Chris Hall has a BA in philosophy from Gettysburg College and an MAT in elementary education from Towson University. He has been a classroom educator and administrator for 25 years, having served in public, independent, and classical schools. In that time, he has served as a classroom teacher in grades K-12, primarily as a science educator, PK-8 Science Department Chair, and a Lower School Academic Dean. Along with his professional pedigree, he is a lifelong practitioner of several of the common arts profiled in his book Common Arts Education: Renewing the Classical Tradition of Training the Head, Hands, and Heart, and the founder of Always Learning Education, an organization dedicated to teaching, learning, and propagating the common arts. He lives on a small, homesteaded farm in central Virginia with his wife and three homeschooled sons. email@example.com
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.
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Our Assistant to the Principal will be in touch with you after your enrollment to help you with next steps, including any placement evaluations that may be required for your course selections.
This registration will be finalized when the student's placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.