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Is Public or Catholic Schooling Better?

September 14, 20233 min read


Working with children over an elongated period of time, it is easy to see how some fall in love with the concept of teaching. Helping any individual understand something that they previously did not is a beautiful accomplishment, and when it is a child or a student, the task becomes all the more important. We know every child learns differently, and at their own pace, but that doesn’t mean they have a choice about the content of what they are learning.

While education is certainly not limited to school, for the purpose of this blog we are speaking specifically about the learning and knowledge that is passed on in public schools. Here we will be discussing only public and Catholic schools, as private and alternative schools are a different matter altogether.

image of a public school

The curriculum, in the Western world, is by and large the same, regardless of whether a school is public or Catholic. Usually, Catholic schools are smaller class sizes, and have a dress code. Often, this gives the impression to parents that the education there is somewhat better.

And yet, both public and Catholic schools are given the same curriculum, although not necessarily the same tools, resources, or funding. This is what makes the difference in a child’s learning when it comes to the education and knowledge they receive in school.

Schools are dependent on funding. Public schools are dependent on the provincial government, and most Catholic schools are also dependent on government assistance. There are various privately funded Catholic schools, but those are funded through donors, supporters, and the parents of students who attend. The amount of funding that a school has greatly impacts the school environment. While it is true that the teachers, administration staff, and head directors at a school make the environment, the funding that the school receives is just as important. Having more funding for a school allows schools to hire better teachers, buy more and better supplies, offer a wider variety of classes, and provide (more) extracurricular activities.

It is no wonder that a student in a school such as this would, on average, perform better than a student who attends a school with less funding. They are given more opportunities to succeed, whether that be academically, socially, or emotionally. Children are amazingly resilient, but not all are given the same privileges in life. Those who are given opportunities will usually seize upon them. Those who are given these chances will often rise to the occasion, while those who are not are, far too often, left to fall through the cracks.

The quality of education a child receives does not have nearly as much to do with whether they attend a public or Catholic school as it does with the funding that the school receives.

While class sizes do affect the quality of learning, your choice of school should, first and foremost, be a school which has been provided with the funding to offer other opportunities outside of the classroom, within the structure of an educational environment.

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Kimberly Gawne

Founder, Teacher, & Instructional Specialist Specializations: IB Curriculum (Arts & Language), High School Arts & Language, Elementary (K - 8) Kimberly is the proud owner of Star Students and has always been driven by her passion for people and learning. From her younger days of exploring and discovering new ways to do things, her love for learning and connecting with people evolved into a desire to share her enthusiasm, skills, and knowledge. Teaching, for Kimberly, is a harmonious blend of these worlds, offering a platform where both student and teacher can embark on a transformative learning journey together. Drawing inspiration from her own educational experiences, particularly the challenges she faced in math and the unwavering support from her father, Kimberly founded Star Students. Her father's adaptability to her unique learning style and his relentless efforts to ensure her understanding have been pivotal in shaping her vision for Star Students.

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