The unit introduces students to the principles and practice of religious education within the context of the Catholic school in Australia. It highlights religious education as a ministry and pastoral instrument for promoting personal faith and development. Participants examine contemporary theological and educational principles underlying religious education, various pedagogical approach and selected works of educational theorists, including the language of Enhancing Catholic School Identity and Dialogue Schools. Clarification of the faith and spiritual development perspectives of children and adolescents, and the relationship of these for the use of Scripture and liturgy in the classroom is introduced. Current curriculum texts and resources and educational networks are studied. Lesson and unit planning for primary and secondary religious education is developed, implemented, and critically evaluated. Strategies for assessing and evaluating children and adolescents’ religious education are identified for classroom application.

Unit code: DR8600C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 16.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Religious Education

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Describe the nature and purpose of R.E. in Catholic schools.


Articulate an understanding of catechesis in the context of Catholic religious education from relevant Church documents.


Identify, examine and critique a variety of approaches for teaching religious education.


Explore and analyse relevant curriculum materials that have been developed for the teaching of religious education.


Develop, implement and critically evaluate a unit of work in religious education for delivery to a specific group of students.

Unit sequence

BS8600C and CT8600C


The pedagogical framework engages an inquiry-based learning approach, which is underpinned by a constructivist learning model that is person-centered and acknowledges students’ professional teaching experiences as an integral part of their learning. It particularly focuses on the development of their research skills through reflective practice and application of critical analysis of R.E. planning and its delivery.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Brendan Hyde. Children’s Spirituality Searching for Meaning and Connectedness. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008.
  • Catholic Education Melbourne. Horizons of Hope: Education Framework for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Melbourne: Catholic Education Melbourne, 2016.
  • D’Orsa, Therese. Leading for Mission: Integrating Life, Culture and Faith in Catholic in Catholic Education. Melbourne: Garratt, 2013.
  • Engebretson, Kathleen, Marian de Sousa, Richard Rymarz, and Michael T. Buchannan. Cornerstones of Catholic Secondary Education. Principles and Practice of the New Evangelisation. Terrigal: David Barlow Publishing, 2008.
  • Engebretson, Kathleen, Joe Fleming, and Richard Rymarz. Thriving as an R.E. Teacher. Katoomba: Social Science Press, 2002.
  • Erricker, Jane, Cathy Ota, and Clive Erricker, eds. Spiritual Education: Cultural, Religious and Social Differences. Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press, 2012.
  • Groome, Thomas H. Sharing Faith: A Comprehensive Approach to Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry: The Way of the Shared Praxis. San Francisco: Harper, 1991.
  • Pollefeyt, Didier, and Jan Bouwens. Identity in Dialogue: Assessing and Enhancing Catholic School Identity: Research Methodology and Research Results in Catholic Schools in Victoria, Australia. Berlin: Lit Verlag, 2014.
  • Ryan, Maurice J. Religious Education in Catholic Schools: An Introduction for Australian Students. Melbourne: David Lovell, 2006.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Critical Review

Critical review: 1,000 words

1000 20.0

Essay: 1,000 words

1000 20.0
Critical Review

Critical review: 2,700 words

2700 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 7 Aug, 2018

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:49 +1000