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EDRE527 Religious Education Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is designed to build on and further develop the knowledge base for pre-service teachers in the areas of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in Religious Education for secondary students in the senior years (Years 11-12). The unit is also designed to develop pre-service teachers’ understanding and skills in critically analysing and evaluating contemporary theory, concepts and issues in Religious Education as applied in the classroom context. Particular attention is given to developing pre-service teachers’ understanding of current issues impacting this curriculum area with a particular focus on curriculum design, pedagogy, assessment, reporting and evaluation.

This is the second unit in a Religious Education Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment sequence. The aim of EDRE528 is to develop students’ expertise as practitioners of religious education in school contexts. This includes expertise as classroom practitioners and as religious educators in wider school contexts.

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 - generate and critically evaluate a Religious Education curriculum program for senior students which synthesises a variety of pedagogical approaches and resources appropriate to these year levels, assessment tasks and curriculum content (GA4, GA5; APST 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3) 

LO2 - critically analyse, synthesise, develop and implement a variety of research-informed classroom strategies which cater for individual differences in student learning (e.g. differences informed by cognitive, physical, socio-economic, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity) and integrate general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities in the Religious Education classroom (GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10; APST 2.1, 2.5, 3.3, 4.1) 

LO3 - analyse the relationships between learning task design, student learning and expertise, higher order thinking, assessment, feedback and reporting strategies and evaluation in Religious Education, and apply to the development of own teaching practice  (GA4, GA5, GA8; APST 3.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.5) 

LO4 - analyse and articulate the relationship of assessment to intervention strategies, student learning and high stakes assessment, moderation and examination practices in Religious Education, and interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice (GA3, GA5, GA8; APST 2.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

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


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

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

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.

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.

2.5 Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

3.2 Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.

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.

5.3 Demonstrate understanding of assessment moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning.

5.4 Demonstrate the capacity to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.

5.5 Demonstrate understanding of a range of strategies for reporting to students and parents/carers and the purpose of keeping accurate and reliable records of student achievement.


The topics will include: 

  • factors in the religious educational context (international, national, state, territory and local levels) including curriculum policies and perspectives that shape the identity of Catholic Religious Education in the senior years 
  • the concepts, substance and structure of senior secondary curriculum content in Religious Education 
  • specific professional practices and key pedagogical approaches related to teaching and learning in Religious Education in the senior years (eg. state accredited religious education and school-based religious education) 
  • alignment and coherence in content, learning outcomes, pedagogy in curriculum programming in Religious Education 
  • the relationship between reflexive learning and effective concept formation to build higher order thinking in Religious Education 
  • catering for a diverse range of learners in Religious Education 
  • strategies to develop students’ literacy and numeracy skills in the context of Religious Education 
  • discipline specific teaching strategies and issues related to Indigenous students in Religious Education  
  • effective use of resources for teaching, including ICT’s and technologies specific to Religious Education  
  • pedagogical strategies to facilitate creativity, promote problem solving and foster critical thinking in Religious Education 
  • ways to assess student learning, provide effective feedback, make consistent and comparable judgments, interpret student data, report on student achievement and ethical practice in assessment in Religious Education 
  • maintaining student safety in Religious Education including risk identification, management and legislative requirements   
  • resources and sources of professional learning for teachers, including professional associations, external professionals, community representatives and support networks. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit involves 150 hours of focused learning, or the equivalent of 10 hours per week for 15 weeks. The total includes formally structured learning activities such as lectures, tutorials, and online learning. The remaining hours typically involve reading, research, and the preparation and submission of tasks for assessment. 

The unit is normally offered in face-to-face or online modes. Students learn through formally structured and sequenced learning activities that support the achievement of the learning outcomes. Students are asked to critically reflect, analyse, and integrate new information with existing knowledge, draw meaningful new connections, and then apply what they have learned to school and other professional contexts. Learning activities take a social constructivist approach which recognises the particular relevance, value and need for peer to peer engagement in learning within this discipline 

Teaching Religious Education in school settings requires specific knowledge and skill sets unique to the Catholic and church-sponsored school. Students in this unit acquire knowledge about curriculum, pedagogy and assessment and apply that to secondary school religious education contexts. Religious education theory, church documents and curricula inform students about the role of the religious educator in the local diocesan school. This background information provides a foundation for teachers to construct pedagogically appropriate classroom teaching and learning strategies for Religious Education, including previously acquired theological understandings of the essential precepts of Church teaching. 

The unit is constructed with consideration of students’ prior knowledge, their experience, and the requirements for teaching religious education in the senior years of schooling. The unit is constructively aligned to build knowledge and integrate skills from general principles to specific outcomes that apply to classroom and school-wide settings of Religious Education.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to pass this unit, students are in order to pass this unit, students are required to demonstrate achievement of all four 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 with initial and core readings for the unit. The task is designed to allow students to display achievement of Learning Outcomes 1 and 2. In this task, students engage with the place of prayer and liturgy in the Catholic tradition before they begin to apply ideas of the tradition to religious education contexts.   

Task 2 requires students to demonstrates learning outcomes 3 and 4. In this task students demonstrate their understanding and skills for planning assessment in the senior school. This task requires knowledge and skills of classroom practitioners and develops their expertise as religious educators. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: 

Curriculum, assessment and evaluation practice 

A sequence of teaching and learning constructed for senior students over a nominated period of time (e.g. three weeks). The program will be designed to address: 

the scope and sequence 

nominated curriculum content represented in a learning and teaching sequence 

literacy strategies in the teaching area 

learning outcomes/indicators of learning 

the integration of assessment in learning and teaching tasks 

nominated pedagogical strategies to support higher order learning 

resources, including ICT. 

a proposal for curriculum evaluation. 


LO1, LO2 

GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10 

Assessment Task 2: 

Assessment Folio 

Develop an assessment plan of two assessment tasks designed for senior students. Each task will include: 

a rationale which accounts for the inclusion of content in relation to how the demand of each task supports the development of higher order thinking 

a description and justification for each task 

learning outcomes/achievement standards 

strategies for making consistent and comparable judgements, including marking guidelines/criteria, and moderation 

ways in which data will be interpreted to modify teaching practices 

strategies for providing feedback 

source material as appropriate. 


LO3, LO4 

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8 

Representative texts and references

Relevant Australian, state and territory curriculum documents and study designs for secondary school students. 

Danforth, M. M. (2012). Christian morality: our response to God's love. Winona, MN: Saint Mary's Press. 

Engebretson, K. (Ed) (2010). International handbook of inter-religious education. Dordrecht; New York: Springer. 

Engebretson, K., & Bagh, M. (2010). A world of diversity: A student textbook for religion and society. Terrigal, NSW: David Barlow Publishing. 

Evans, C. A. (2011). Ancient texts for New Testament studies: a guide to the background literature. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 

Goldburg, P., Blundell, P., & Jordan, T. L. (2012). Exploring religion and ethics: Religion and ethics for senior secondary students. Cambridge, England; Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press. 

Greene, M. T. (2012). The sacraments: Encounters with Christ. Teacher Guide. Winona, MN: Saint Mary's Press. 

Herrick, A. T., & McCullough, M. K. (2012). Catholic social teaching: Christian life in society. Winona, MN: Saint Mary's Press. 

Jackson, P. (2011). Ethics for GCSE. London: SPCK Publishing. 

Ramanujam, R. C. M. (2011). Active religious and moral education. Edinburgh, Scotland: Leckie & Leckie. 

Walker, J. (2010). Religious and moral education for Scotland. Paisley, Scotland: Hodder Gibson. 

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