Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

A knowledge and understanding of the principles and processes of curriculum design, development and implementation is essential in Religious Education. This unit applies curriculum theory to planning, learning and teaching in religious education. It examines a range of approaches and strategies used in local dioceses for the contemporary religion classroom. This unit develops students' knowledge and skills related to key content areas in school religious education curriculum. In particular, it assists students to apply religious education theory to the teaching of key content areas selected from Jesus, scripture, sacraments and church.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of religious education (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10; APST2.1)  

LO2.- appraise a variety of core religious education curriculum documents including religious education curriculum documents from the local context (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10; APST3.6)  

LO3 - evaluate a variety of pedagogical approaches and teaching strategies relevant to religious education (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10; APST 2.2, 3.6)  

LO4  - examine the application of contemporary approaches to assessment, reporting and evaluation in religion classroom (GA4, GA5, GA8; GA10, APST 5.1, APST5.2).  

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

3.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.

5.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning.


Topics will include:  

  1. Church documents, local religious education documents and religious education scholarship.  
  2. Content in local diocesan documents, selected from Jesus, scripture, sacraments and church, organised into an effective learning and teaching sequence.  
  3. Pedagogical approaches, strategies and resources relevant to religious education;  
  4. The role of assessment, reporting and evaluation in religious education.  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The learning and teaching strategy in this unit is informed by the seven principles that are enunciated in the University’s Strategic Plan (2015 – 2020). In particular, the learning and teaching strategy seeks to develops knowledge, skills and personal values through active learning that draws upon the real-world experiences of the students (Principle 5). Therefore, the learning and teaching strategy adopts an inquiry framework that places the student at the centre of the learning experience. 

EDRE516 is taught in numerous modes (i.e. face to face, intensive, online, mixed) and involves 150 hours of focused learning. This consists of lectures and tutorials in the face-to-face mode, and recorded lectures (for asynchronous use), videoconferencing and webinars in the online mode. The remaining hours are reserved for private research and cooperative learning through forums and reflective journals, leading to the completion of the required assessment tasks. 

Students are introduced to the various influences that contribute to the development of Religious Education curriculum. By engaging in the learning activities provided in the unit, students develop and deepen their understanding of the ways in which Church documents inform diocesan authorities about the purpose of Religious Education from the perspective of the Magisterium. In turn, local curriculum documents then inform teachers about their responsibilities based on the way in which the particular diocese has contextualised its understanding of Church teaching. To the extent that it is practicable, students are provided with opportunities to investigate their local curriculum documents in Religious Education in relation to a number of key topics that are common across Australia. Issues relating to assessment, reporting and evaluation are also considered. On the basis of the learning experiences, students are required to construct pedagogically appropriate classroom teaching and learning strategies for Religious Education based on previously acquired theological understandings of the essential precepts of Church teaching. The unit is constructed to consider students’ range of knowledge and experience in teaching RE and to build their capacity to do so. The unit is constructively aligned to build knowledge and integrate skills from general principles to specific outcomes that apply to classroom teaching of Religious Education. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to pass this unit, students are required to demonstrate achievement of all five learning outcomes and achieve an overall mark of 50% or higher  

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for students to progressively demonstrate their achievement of each learning outcome.  

Task 1 requires students to engage in an analysis of their local religious education curriculum document in the light of Church documentation and contemporary Religious Education theory. The principal purpose of the task is to appraise core religious education curriculum documents from the local context wherever possible (LO2) and demonstrate familiarity with concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of religious education that derive from contemporary Religious Education theory (LO1).  

Task 2 requires students to evaluate learning and teaching strategies including assessment, moderation and evaluation in a local teaching unit. The principal purpose of the task is to provide students with an opportunity to engage in a quality assurance exercise to ensure that a unit of work has been correctly aligned to a particular pedagogical approach required in a local Religious Education curriculum document (LO3). The student is also required to demonstrate an understanding of “line of sight” by examining the application of contemporary approaches to assessment, reporting and evaluation in relation to a unit of work (LO4).  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Common Assessment Task 1  

Report: Analysis of the student’s local religious education curriculum document in light of Church documentation and contemporary Religious Education theory.  


LO1, LO2 

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10 

Assessment Task 2 

Quality Assurance exercise: Evaluate learning and teaching strategies including assessment, moderation and evaluation in a local teaching unit. 


LO3, LO24

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10 

Representative texts and references

Barrow, R. (2012). Common sense and the curriculum. Retrieved from 

Buchanan, M., & Gallel, A. (2015). Global perspectives on Catholic religious education in schools. Cham: Springer. 

Buchanan, M., & Gallel, A. (2019). Global perspectives on Catholic religious education in schools. Volume II, Learning and leading in a pluralist world (1st ed. 2019. ed.). Gateway East, Singapore: Springer. 

Erricker, C. (2010). Religious education: A conceptual and interdisciplinary approach for secondary level. London; New York: Routledge. 

Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2007). Checking for understanding: Formative assessment techniques for your classroom. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. 

Gearon, L. (2013). Masterclass in religious education: Transforming teaching and learning. London: Bloomsbury Academic. 

Gleeson, J., & Goldburg, P. (2020). Faith-based Identity and Curriculum in Catholic Schools: Curriculum Perspectives: Vol. First edition. London: Routledge. 

Hattie, J., & Zierer, K. (2018). 10 mindframes for visible learning: Teaching for success. New York: Routledge 

Lovat, T. (2019). The Art and Heart of Good Teaching Values as the Pedagogy. Singapore: Springer 



British Journal of Religious Education 

International Studies in Catholic Education 

Journal of Religious Education 


Religious Education 

Religious Education Journal of Australia 

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