Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

 EDRE627 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.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit fosters reflection on and critique of foundational Catholic/Christian documents concerned with social justice. These include texts from Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, as well as documents from Catholic social teaching. Critical reflection on these documents allows for the development and evaluation of programs related to education for justice, peace, development, human rights and dignity and ecological responsibility. The unit also assists students to gain skills in integrating education for social justice into religious education curricula.

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 - Examine the history and contemporary application of Catholic Social Teaching with particular focus on educational settings (GA8; APST 1.1 HA).

LO2 - Articulate the foundations of social justice in the Old and New Testaments (GA8; APST 2.1 Lead, 2.2 HA).

LO3 - Analyse contemporary social structures and social justice issues using social analysis approaches (e.g. See – Judge – Act, the Pastoral Circle) supported by features of the Catholic Social Teaching tradition (GA3; GA8; APST 2.3 HA).

LO4 - Critique foundational documents concerned with the Catholic Social Teaching Tradition, including texts from Scripture and Church documents from modern Catholic Social teaching as they apply to contemporary programs for justice and action for justice, within the context of Catholic education (GA4; APST 2.1 HA).

LO5 - Generate appropriate programs for a variety of community groups, socio-educational contexts, including Religious Education curricula, and aim to educate for social justice using multimodal literacies (GA4; GA10; APST 7.1 HA).

Graduate attributes

GA2 - Recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society

GA3 - Apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

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

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Highly Accomplished

On successful completion of this unit, students should have gained evidence towards the following standards:

2.1. - Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area

Support colleagues using current and comprehensive knowledge of content and teaching strategies to develop and implement engaging learning and teaching programs.

2.2 - Content selection and organisation

Exhibit innovative practice in the selection and organisation of content and delivery of learning and teaching programs.

2.3 - Curriculum, assessment and reporting

Support colleagues to plan and implement learning and teaching programs using contemporary knowledge and understanding of curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements.

2.6 Model high-level teaching knowledge and skills and work with colleagues to use current ICT to improve their teaching practice and make content relevant and meaningful.

7.1 - Meet professional ethics and responsibilities

Maintain high ethical standards and support colleagues to interpret codes of ethics and exercise sound judgement in all school and community contexts.


Topics will include:

  • Social justice content from the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.
  • History and current practice of the Eucharist and its application to social justice theory.
  • History and contemporary application of Catholic social teaching.
  • Specific study of one or more documents of Catholic social teaching.
  • Investigation and analysis of a range of social justice issues in light of Scripture and Catholic social teaching. These may include ecology and the environment, poverty and development, social inclusion, asylum seekers and refugees, development, justice and peace.
  • Approaches to curriculum development for educating for social justice.
  • Multimedia and information technology approaches to educating for social justice.
  • The development of a programme of educating for social justice for a specific religious education context, drawing when appropriate on diocesan religious education guidelines.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The learning and teaching strategy in this unit is informed by various principles that are enunciated in the University’s Strategic Plan (2020 – 2023). In particular, the unit adopts a “student-centric approach that ensures every student has the opportunity and support they need to succeed and graduate at ACU” (Australian Catholic University, 2020, p. 7) (Priority 2.5).

EDRE627 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.

In the unit, students are introduced to the various sources of the Catholic Social Teaching tradition (e.g. Revelation, Tradition, Natural Law, Experience). By developing an understanding of the theological and theoretical bases of the Catholic Social Teaching tradition, students are then able to investigate a number of contemporary social justice issues that are relevant to global and Australian contexts. Based on their consideration of contemporary social justice issues, students develop skills for incorporating the social doctrine of the Church into the school curriculum and reflect upon possible future directions.

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.

Task 1 requires students to develop an understanding of the role of Scripture in shaping the Catholic Social Teaching tradition (LO1) and demonstrate familiarity with some of the texts that form the deposit of Catholic Social Teaching (e.g. documents from the Second Vatican Council, papal encyclicals) (LO2). Students draw upon their developing understanding of the Catholic Social Teaching tradition to critically examine, analyse and evaluate a local social justice program in the light of these teachings (LO3, LO5).

Task 2 requires students to demonstrate their professional competence by developing a teaching/learning sequence that could be used in their local context (LO5). In designing their presentation, students are required to implement creative approaches to education for social justice by including the use of information technology (LO4). The task also gives students the opportunity to critically examine, analyse and evaluate existing social structures and social justice issues in their local context by considering Scripture and Catholic Social Teaching (LO3).

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Various tasks in response to unit readings.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5

GA2, GA3, GA9, GA10

Developing a teaching /learning sequence in social justice education.


LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA2, GA3, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference. Social Justice Statements. 2000-2020.

Cloutire, D. (2015). Reading, praying, living Pope Francis’s ‘Laudato Si’’: A faith formation guide. Liturgical Press.

Daw, J. (2013). Young people, faith and social justice. Yarra Institute Press.

Donnelly, D. (2014). Sacraments and justice. Liturgical Press.

Duncan, B. (2012). Social justice: Fuller life in a fairer world. John Garrett Publishing.

Heyer, K. & Massingale, B.(2014). ‘Gaudium et Spes’ and the call to justice. In P. Crowley (Ed.), From Vatican II to Pope Francis (pp.81-100). Orbis Books.

Hovey, C. & Phillips, E. (2015). The Cambridge Companion to Christian Political Theology. Cambridge University Press.

Kelly, A. (2016). ‘Laudato Si’’: An integral ecology and the Catholic vision. ATF Theology Press.

Martino, R. R. (2010). What Catholic schools can do to advance the cause of justice and peace in the world. International Studies in Catholic Education, 2(2), 212-216. doi:10.1080/19422539.2010.504038

Massaro, T., S.J. (2016). Living justice: Catholic social teaching in action (3rd classroom ed.). Rowman & Littlefield.

McKenna, K. (2013). A concise guide to Catholic social teaching. Ave Maria Press.

Mitchell, R. (2017). Faith based development: How Christian organisations can make a difference. Orbis Books.

Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. (2004). Compendium of the social doctrine of the church. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticano.

Scott, M. (2009). The Eucharist and Social Justice. Paulist Press.

Appropriate Journals and Websites


Australian Catholic Social Justice Council

Busy Christian’s Guide to Catholic Social Teaching

Caritas Australia:

Melbourne Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace

Catholic Earthcare Australia

Edmund Rice Centre

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