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EDRE299 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment in Religious Education 1 or EDR270 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment in Religious Education 1


EDRE471 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment in Religious Education 2

Unit rationale, description and aim

This is the second unit in a Religious Education Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment sequence. The pre-service teacher will refine 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 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 assessment, examination, reporting, curriculum evaluation, and literacy and numeracy teaching strategies within Religious Education.

The aim of EDRE399 is to immerse students further into the discipline of religious education for the senior 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 - Generate and critically evaluate a religious education curriculum program for senior students which involves a variety of pedagogical approaches and resources appropriate to these year levels, assessment tasks and curriculum content (GA4, GA5; APST 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 3.2, 3.4)

LO2 - Critically analyse a variety of classroom strategies which differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning strengths and needs of students across the full range of abilities in the Religious Education classroom and to cater for the needs of learners from diverse backgrounds (e.g. cognitive, physical, social, cultural backgrounds, and including students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds) and integrate general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.4, 3.1, 3.3)

LO3 - Demonstrate an understanding of the literacy and numeracy strategies applicable to teaching and learning in Religious Education and analyse a variety of classroom strategies which differentiate teaching to meet the variety of student needs in this respect (GA4, GA5; APST 1.5, 2.4, 2.5, 3.3)

LO4 - Examine the relationships between student learning and expertise, higher order thinking, learning task design, assessment, feedback, reporting and evaluation in Religious Education (GA5, GA8; APST 2.3, 3.6, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5)

LO5 - Interpret and explain the relationship of assessment to intervention strategies, student learning and high stakes examination practices in Religious Education (GA5, GA8; APST 2.1, 2.3, 3.6, 5.1, 5.4)

LO6 - Articulate the relationship between Religious Education, legislation, relevant community and professional agencies and the professional responsibilities of Religious Education teachers (GA8; APST 6.2, 7.1, 7.4)

LO7 - Demonstrate understanding of sociocultural influences of Religious Education within society, at individual, interpersonal, institutional, social and cultural levels (GA5; APST 2.1)

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

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


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

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.

1.5 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.

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.

2.5 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.

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.

5.4 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.

6.2 Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.

7.1 Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.

7.4 Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.


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

  • coverage of resources relevant to jurisdictional syllabus documents
  • specific professional practices related to teaching and learning in religious education in the senior years (eg. state accredited religious education and school-based Religious Education)
  • an understanding of how effective teaching, including curriculum rigour, engagement, participation and inclusion, is a key factor in effective classroom management
  • general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities including the integration of literacy and numeracy, and local, state, territory and national perspectives in 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
  • 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
  • literacy and numeracy teaching strategies applicable to teaching and learning within Religious Education
  • pedagogical strategies to promote problem solving and critical thinking in Religious Education
  • school-based assessment, external examinations in Religious Education
  • interpreting assessment data, intervention, feedback, and reporting in Religious Education
  • extending and challenging learners 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 and implement religious education learning and teaching activities for senior secondary students.

Task 2 requires students to address a current issue or debate in curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in the religious education.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1:

Incorporating curriculum, pedagogy and assessment into a short sequence of classroom lessons


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA9

Assessment Task 2:

A paper that addresses a current issue or debate in curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in the teaching subject.


LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7

GA4, GA5, GA8

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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