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EDRE270 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment in Religious Education 1

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 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 EDRE299 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 - Plan, implement and evaluate a range of Religious Education learning and teaching activities for junior secondary students which involve a variety of pedagogical approaches and resources (including ICT) appropriate to these year levels and curriculum content (GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10; APST 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 3.2)

LO2 - Explain, develop and evaluate a variety of classroom strategies which cater for individual differences in student learning (e.g. cognitive, physical, social, cultural, catechetical) in Religious Education (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 1.3, 2.4, 3.1, 3.4)

LO3 - Examine the relationships between student learning and expertise, higher order thinking, learning task design, assessment, feedback and reporting in Religious Education (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST5.1)

Graduate attributes

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.

1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

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.

2.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of, and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.

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.

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

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


Topics will include:

  • factors in the religious educational context (diocesan, international, national, state levels) including curriculum policies and religious education guidelines and perspectives that shape the identity of religious education in Years 7-10.
  • specific professional practices related to teaching and learning in religious education (eg. interpreting the role of the religious education teacher within and beyond the classroom.
  • an understanding of how effective teaching, including curriculum rigour, engagement, participation and inclusion, is a key factor in effective classroom management.
  • planning sequences of learning activities in religious education relative to the Catholic school context and identified factors impacting on teaching and learning.
  • catering for a diverse range of learners in religious education.
  • discipline specific teaching strategies and issues related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in religious education.
  • effective use of resources for teaching, including ICT’s and technologies specific to religious education.
  • feedback, assessment and reporting in religious education.
  • extending and challenging learners in religious education.
  • contemporary issues in religious education.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit involves 150 hours of focused learning. 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

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for students to progressively demonstrate their achievement of each learning outcome. For this reason, a range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. Such procedures may include, but are not limited to: essays, reports, examinations, student presentations or case studies. In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit all assessment tasks and achieve an aggregate mark of at least 50/100.

By drawing on religious education and general educational theory, task 1 requires students to plan, implement and evaluate a range of Religious Education learning and teaching activities for junior secondary students which involve a variety of pedagogical approaches and resources appropriate to these year levels and curriculum content (LO1). In doing this, students are also required to explain, develop and evaluate a variety of classroom strategies which cater for individual differences in student learning in Religious Education (LO2).

Task 2 requires students to examine the relationships between student learning and expertise, higher order thinking, learning task design, assessment, feedback and reporting in Religious Education (LO3).

There will be two assessment tasks equivalent to a total of 4,000 words. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1:

Lesson planning for junior secondary religious education including consideration of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 2:

Examination of a contemporary issue in religious education.



GA4, GA5, GA9

Representative texts and references

Carswell, M. (2018). Teaching scripture: Moving towards a hermeneutical model for religious education in Australian Catholic schools. Journal of Religious Education, 66(3), 213–223.

Buchanan M. & Gellel A.M. (eds) Global perspectives on Catholic religious education in schools. Springer, Cham.

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.

Flinn, F. K., (Ed.). (2019). Encyclopedia of Catholicism (second edition). Credo Reference. Hoffmann, M. B. (2011). Catechesis in a multi-media world: Connecting to today's students. New York: Paulist Press.

Orchard, J. (2020). Does RE still matter? Journal of Religious Education, 68(3), 271–287.

Rossiter, G. (2020). Addressing the problem of ‘ecclesiastical drift’ in Catholic religious education, International Studies in Catholic Education, 12(2), 191-205, DOI: 10.1080/19422539.2020.1810998

Ryan, M. (2014). Religious education in Catholic schools: An introduction for Australian students. (Rev. ed.).Brisbane: Lumino Press.

Scott K. (2015). Problem or paradox: Teaching the Catholic religion in Catholic schools. In Buchanan M., Gellel AM. (eds) Global Perspectives on Catholic Religious Education in Schools (pp.47-60). Springer, Cham.

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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