Christopher Keavy - Head of Schools

Christopher Keavy
Head of School

St. John Paul II
High School

St. Francis Xavier
Preparatory School

Jan 23, 2016

Define Your Terms

In our Introduction to Western Philosophy course, we read Plato’s Euthphryo and Plato’s Meno, two dialogues that show the importance that Socrates places on defining the basic terms we use. This thought came to mind recently when I was at a meeting where, when considering the advent of distance, online, for-profit, and other new and non-traditional school models, the very notion “what is a school” took center stage — not as a thought exercise, but as an important question.

Ours is a traditional school; buildings of brick and mortar housing teachers and students who share time and space. But what is a school?

Most important to defining our term ‘school’, it seems to me, is formation and transformation. A school — our school — is a community where students are formed and transformed. Our basic units are called courses, which suggest that when students take them, they arrive, at the end, in a different place. We strive that students be formed and transformed with knowledge and skill. Even wisdom. While there may be many ways to achieve such formation and transformation, we’ll put our stock in the shared time and space inhabited by our excellent teachers and students. Our school = people in formation and transformation.



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