How Young People Learn

10-23-2022The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

Pope John Paul I stated that a problem with educating young people in the church stems from a failure to understand how young people learn. He claimed that adults learn in the following pattern: 1) acceptance of absolutes; 2) subordination of attitudes and actions to absolutes; 3) application of truth received to life experience. Knowing something as an adult is based primarily upon remembering information and intellectual learning.

Youth, the pope contended, learn in a different way: 1) evaluation of life experience; 2) discovery of attitudes and actions which validate their life experiences; 3) identifying truth based on their relevance to life experience; 4) acceptance of Catholic truths that prove reliable from life experience. Life experience, through the lens of Faith, is the main influence on the learning young mind.

The pope often told parents and teachers to continue to pray and never lose heart.