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Unit rationale, description and aim

This is the first unit in a Religious Education Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment sequence. The pre-service teacher will critically reflect on their approach to teaching and learning with a focus on specific professional practices related to teaching and learning in the specific discipline area.

This unit is designed to establish a knowledge base for pre-service teachers in the areas of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in Catholic Religious Education for secondary students in the junior years of secondary schooling (Years 7-10). The unit is also designed to develop pre-service teachers’ understanding of contemporary theory, concepts and skills in Religious Education as applied in the classroom context. Theoretical concepts, pedagogical principles and curriculum structures within Religious Education are examined and applied in the evaluation, design and implementation of learning experiences that are responsive to the needs of diverse learners.

The aim of EDRE527 is to introduce students to the discipline of religious education for the junior secondary school context and to develop their knowledge and skills for planning related curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.

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 mastery of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of Religious Education, and an in-depth understanding of how students learn in Religious Education (GA5; APST 1.2, 2.1) 

LO2 critically analyse, synthesise, develop, and implement a range of Religious Education learning and teaching activities and sequences for junior students (7-10), which involve a variety of pedagogical approaches and resources (including safe and ethical use of ICT resources) appropriate to these year levels and curriculum content (GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10; APST 1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.5) 

LO 3 describe, design, analyse and evaluate strategies that cater for individual differences in student learning (e.g. cognitive, physical, social, cultural) and integrate general capabilities in Religious Education (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.5, 3.3, 4.1) 

LO4 analyse the relationships between learning task design, student learning and expertise, higher order thinking, assessment, feedback and reporting in Religious Education, and apply to the development and modification of own teaching practice (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 2.3, 5.1, 5.2). 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

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:

1.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning.

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.

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.

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.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

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

4.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.

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: 

  •  factors in the religious educational context (international, national, state, territory and local levels) including curriculum policies and religious education guidelines and perspectives that shape the identity of Religious Education in Years 7-10. 
  • the concepts, substance and structure of curriculum content in Religious Education 
  • contemporary understandings of the unique ways in which students learn in Religious Education 
  • specific professional practices and key pedagogical approaches related to teaching and learning in Religious Education contexts, and their theoretical underpinnings  
  • general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities including the integration of literacy and numeracy and local, state, territory and national perspectives in Religious Education  
  • planning, implementing and evaluating sequences of learning activities in Religious Education relative to the Catholic school context and identified factors impacting on teaching and learning 
  • 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 
  • discipline specific teaching strategies and issues related to Indigenous students in Religious Education 
  • effective use of a range of resources for the teaching area, including ICT’s and technologies specific to Religious Education 
  • classroom management in Religious Education and the impact of curriculum rigour, engagement, participation and inclusion on learner behaviour 
  • pedagogical strategies to promote problem solving and critical thinking in Religious Education 
  • a range of approaches and strategies for assessment, feedback, and reporting in Religious Education 
  • strategies to develop students’ literacy and numeracy skills in the context of Religious Education 
  • ways to assess student learning, provide effective feedback, make consistent and comparable judgments, interpret student data and report on student achievement in Religious Education. 

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 junior 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 junior 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 elements of lesson planning as an initial component of curriculum design. 

Task 2 requires students to demonstrate learning outcome 3. In this task students demonstrate their understanding and skills for analysing curriculum and catering for student diversity. 

Task 3 requires students to demonstrates learning outcome 4. In this task students demonstrate their understanding and skills for using resources that support curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in religious education. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Lesson planning 

Develop a series of at least three sequential lessons / learning activities that engage with curriculum content, ways that students learn, pedagogy and critical and creative thinking. 


LO1, LO2 

GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10 

Assessment Task 2:  

Analysis of the Curriculum 

Written Paper or Presentation: Analysis of Religious Education 7-10 curriculum content, skills and topics for diverse learners. 



GA1, GA4, GA5, GA9 

Assessment Task 3:   

Resource Folio and Critical Reflection 

Create a folio of 6 – 10 practical resources that cover a range of curriculum topics and skills relevant to religious education.  

Critically analyse the ways in which these resources can be used to support learning in light of syllabus content, higher order thinking, assessment, feedback and reporting. 



GA4, GA5, GA9 

Representative texts and references

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

Baxter, R. (2012). The values education resource file: A practical kit for exploring the things that matter. London; New York: Routledge. 

Cutarelli, R., & Schroeder, C. J. (2012). The New Testament: The good news of Jesus Christ. Winona, MN: Saint Mary's Press. 

Finn, A. G. (2011). Parents, teachers and religious education: A study in a Catholic secondary school in rural Victoria. Pennant Hills, NSW: Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Broken Bay. 

Hoffmann, M. B. (2011). Catechesis in a multi-media world: Connecting to today's students. New York: Paulist Press. 

Lovat, T. J. (2009). What is this thing called religious education? (3rd ed.). Terrigal, NSW: David Barlow Publishing. 

Monosmith, T. R., & Redmond, J. F. (2013). Church history: Apostolic times to today. Winona, MN: Saint Mary's Press. 

Ryan, M. (2013). A common search: The history and forms of religious education in Catholic schools. (Rev. ed.). Hamilton, Qld: Lumino Press. 

Rymarz, R. (2012). The new evangelisation: issues and challenges for Catholic schools. Ballan, Vic.: Modotti Press. 

Socias, J. (2013). Introduction to Catholicism. S.l.: Midwest Theological Forum. 

Watson, J. De Souza, M., & Trousdale, A. M. (2014). Global perspectives on spirituality in education. [n.p.]: Routlege. 

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