Formation of Lay Teachers in Catholic Schools: The Influence of Virtues/spirituality Seminars on Lay Teachers, Character Education, and Perceptions of Catholic Education

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A volume in Research on Religion and Education Series Editors Stephen J. Denig, Niagara University and Lyndon G. Furst, Andrews University Two major real-world problems prompted this study: maintaining the Catholic identity of the Catholic schools, and increasing interest in character education. Traditionally, Catholic schools in the United States were staffed exclusively by priests, sisters, and brothers. Today, they are predominately staffed by laypersons. This change has influenced the essential religious character and culture of Catholic schools. While Religious filter their teachings through their own religious training and emphasize the mission and charisma of Catholic education, lay staff often lack the same intensely religious experiences to bring to the teaching/learning environment. This qualitative interview study explored the influence that a series of spirituality and virtue seminars had on lay teachers' perceptions of the Catholic school and character education.