Catholic Educational Review

views updated


The Review was a journal of import and interest to Catholic education published ten times a year between January 1911 and November 1969. In 1907 Thomas E. Shields of The Catholic University of America had started the "Catholic Educational News Service," in which, until 1910, he had published a series of articles on teaching religion. Response led to him establishing the Catholic Education Press to publish Catholic elementary school textbooks. He saw no successful Catholic periodical to meet the challenge of nonreligious theories in the field of education. (In the 1890s the Review of Catholic Pedagogy had lasted one year; Mooker's Magazine, about two years; and Catholic School Work, seven months in 1909.) On June 15, 1910, he and Edward A. Pace petitioned Thomas J. Shahan, Rector of the University, to have the Catholic Education Press publish such a journal under Catholic University's Department of Education. The three agreed to pick up the deficit themselves for five years if there was one, then either to cease publication or ask for outside help.

Shields and Pace wrote a prospectus indicating as the journal's purpose attention to the needs of Catholic teachers; it would bring to their attention the connection between principles and practice, improvements in method, and standards of criticism of current theories. The initial intent was to have each issue contain a survey of the field: one article each on the history of education from the Catholic standpoint, methods, management or policy, a practical phase, the philosophy or psychology of education, the international struggle between materialism and religion in education, the contributions of teaching communities, and practical schoolroom difficulties, as well as worthwhile news and book reviews. The first article, by Pace, was on "The Papacy and Education." Many of the early articles were contributed anonymously by nuns. In the first 40 years there were 413 articles on curriculum (especially the role of religion; curriculum reconstruction; such phases as social studies, Latin, and vocational education; but content was deficient in the physical sciences, mathematics, and modern languages); 354 on methodology (mostly in religion, but also in English, social studies, Latin, and arithmetic); 271 on history (especially Catholic); 207 on administration (especially supervision and affiliation); 178 on philosophy; 163 on psychology; 119 on teacher training; 109 on Federal relations; 88 on guidance; 22 on library matters; and 201 on miscellaneous literary, political, scientific, sociological, and other noneducational subjects. At first the emphasis was on elementary schools, but in the 1920s it included more of secondary interests, and later increasingly more of college and university interests. Dissertation abstracts brought research to the reader's attention. There were few editorials.

Shields served as editor until his death in 1921. Some other prominent editors and associate editors were Bp. Patrick J. McCormick; George Johnson; Felix M. Kirsch, OFMCap; Michael J. McKeough, OPrem; James E. Cummings; Francis P. Cassidy; Frank J. Drobka; Urban J. Fleege; and Sister Mary Vernice, SND. Joseph A. Gorham was editor from 1949 until his death on July 7, 1966; under him the Review was honored by the Catholic Press Association with gold medals for excellence in 1953 and 1955. In Sept. 1966 an editorial board was appointed from Catholic University's School of Education faculty; and in 1968 a new editorial board was appointed from a University-wide basis.

By April 1911 there were 3,670 subscriptions to Canada, Panama, Europe, and Australia, as well as the United States. By 1921 there were about 4,000 subscriptions, which decreased in the Depression to 1,870, about where they remained until after World War II. Campaigns during the 1950s brought them up to 4,675 in 1960, about where they leveled off. At Shields's death, all but 20 shares of the Review's stock were given to Catholic Sisters College. In Dec. 1947 Vincent Shields, nephew of the founder, was succeeded as managing editor by James A. Magner of Catholic University, and in 1948 the general administration of the Review was transferred to the University. The issue of Nov. 1969 was the last, because of a feeling in some quarters that the impact of the journal had recently not been sufficiently significant and because of a lack of financial resources to meet spiraling costs.

Bibliography: j. a. gorham, "Looking Back Fifty Years," Catholic Educational Review 59 (1961) 145154. j. j. cuddy, "A Critical Analysis of the Contents of the First Forty Years of the Catholic Educational Review," unpublished M.A. dissertation, The Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C. 1953).

[h. a. buetow]

About this article

Catholic Educational Review

Updated About content Print Article