Christ is the truth. Study, when it is serious and properly oriented, can only lead to Him and put us at the service of our neighbour. L’École Notre-Dame du Mont Carmel seeks to develop within the students, a hunger for intellectual work at the service of truth and to allow the development of a critical and positive mind. “To have high ideas permits one to have broad ideas,” states Fr. Sevin. In fact, Christ did not ask us to leave the world, but to sanctify it by our active, intelligent and praying presence.
It is, therefore, an optimistic and joyful vision which animates both the professors and the administrators. As Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati said, “We must never just exist but live, because even through every disappointment we should remember that we are the only ones who possess the Truth! (…) We must always be cheerful. Sadness should be banished from all Christian souls.”
Teaching Truth in the Real
Every man is sensitive to the environment around him. The great St. Benedict himself favoured the deep absorption of beauty and example. In fact, a child, just as a sponge, absorbs things from his surroundings. He conforms himself playfully, unknowingly to that which he experiences.
Unfortunately, what the present world offers, does not aid the psychological or intellectual upbringing of the child. The virtual (television, video games, internet) wastes his mind and imposes upon the real world an artificial one where the child loses the sense of reality at an age where he needs, rather, to conquer it. New methods of education disrupt the transmission of knowledge between teacher and student since it leaves the child “to build himself.” Analysis of grammar and logic, synthesizing, reasoning, etc. are all simply forgotten.
In front of such serious wants, l’École Notre-Dame du Mont Carmel offers their students a classical education which rests upon a structured approach and a simple method, realistic and proven, which has for its goal:
- to develop the intellect and to give a taste for the truth;
- to teach how to reflect and acquire a healthy and firm judgment;
- to form the memory.
In order to accomplish this, the approach to reading is done by an analytical and syllabic method; the study of grammar allows one to distinguish different words in phrases, to analyse their nature and their function; the mastering of writing gives the means to refine one’s thoughts and to form one’s ideas with nuance.
Mathematics begins with the practice of doing mental calculations, problem solving, exercises in conversion and geometry.
The frequent recitation of texts develops the strength and performance of the memory and aids judgment. Faith, person and intellect ought to grow in total harmony for a child who is confided to our school.
Forming the will
The forming of the soul of the child, along with that of his intellect and body and his appreciation of beauty are inseparable to that of the will. Our teachers serve as guides and models to the students, in that they seek to form true, well brought-up and responsible Christians. In order to do this, the teachers at l’École Notre-Dame du Mont Carmel focus on:
- Giving a desire for hardwork in demanding that the children work diligently and attentively;
- Forming good habits (politeness, respect, care…) by the exercise of perseverance;
- Teaching independence and personal decision making.
The educating mission of the school, in collaboration with the parents, ought to contribute to the increase of the 1, 5 or 10 talents which each child has received from God. Our teachers follow the students and support their efforts to do their work in a well ordered fashion. They help them to have confidence in themselves and to accept themselves as they are.