Contemporary contexts of Religious Education

Our Societal Context

Contemporary students are immersed in a global world and exposed to a range of values represented through diverse media.  They thus require from Religious education, as from their entire curriculum, an ability to respond to the ever-present questions of Australian community life in a rapidly developing world. This means that at Clairvaux MacKillop, the classroom religion program becomes a primary arena for dealing with critical religious issues and concerns of life. We seek to reflect a Catholic Christian worldview that integrates faith, life and culture. At the same time it seeks to embrace an ecumenical perspective and reflect the multi-faith context and reality of this school. In the Catholic Christian tradition, education is a work of love and service. The Religious Education program is thus designed not only for classroom lessons but also to help students make sense of everyday live, at school, at home, among family or friends, or out in the wider world, wherever reality requires working together with others to achieve outcomes for everyone concerned. This is the true experience of religious ideas, that they bring a sense of meaning and self-worth to students, who then grow to be friendlier, wiser, more forgiving and productive people. Clair-1302 (Mobile).jpg 

Our Educational Context

Religious Education in the Archdiocese of Brisbane, including this school, builds on best practice of the broader educational community. The classroom learning and teaching of religion reflects the philosophy, content, structure, academic rigor and assessment and reporting modes used in other learning areas. A Catholic perspective on acquiring and using knowledge orients our curriculum towards rationality; holistic knowing; knowing and living; wisdom as the fruit of knowing and life-long and life-wide learning.  Reflective self-directed learning and teaching provides Sabbath spaces for teachers and students to interiorise knowledge.
Religious Education is not in isolation: It is taught, assessed, reported and evaluated in the same way as other subject areas, with on-going commitment to teaching methods of established value and principles such as: Focusing on learners and their learning; establishing clear learning intentions and success criteria; activating multiple ways of knowing and interacting to construct knowledge; responding with feedback to move learning forward; and encouraging students to be activators of their own learning.  
The P-12 Religion Curriculum provides Year Level Achievement Standards that clarify the details of the Knowledge, Deep Understanding and Skills to be acquired by students. Religion teachers draw on this information, as well as the Unit structure and teaching methodologies applied across the College.
Knowledge describes the information, facts and principles specific to a learning area.  Deep Understanding relates to the concepts underpinning and connecting knowledge in a field/discipline and is related to a student’s ability to appropriately select and apply knowledge to solve problems in a particular learning area.   Skills describe the way of working specific to a field/discipline, and are therefore focused on specific techniques, strategies or processes in a learning area.

An Example: 

07RE T1: Power of Word Learning Outcomes
Syllabus Bytes
Enquiry Process
1.       To interpret writings by and about religious founders of communities, and outline their key messages.
2.       To explain how a community is influenced by the way its leaders and founders are portrayed in texts.
3.       To comprehend that Christian history has a cultural context, as seen in people, places and things in sacred texts, and influences our interpretation of events.
4.       To demonstrate how images, symbols and metaphoric language in selected sacred texts can be  used by Christian communities as foundations for customs and religious practices (Exodus 12: 1-4; Mark 14:12-26; Acts 2:1-4; Mark 2:23-28.)
STCW8 Founders of Communities
STNT16 What is Truth
Tuning in
Finding out
5.       To demonstrate  links between statements of belief within the Creeds of the apostolic and ancient Churches and  the history of the faith time-lined previously
6.       To identify how statements of belief within the Creeds express a Christian understanding of God.
BETR9 The Christian Creeds
Sorting out
7.       To comprehend how the Christian story and its interpretation leads to sources of meditative prayer, e.g. silent reflection, icons and images, Sacred Texts.
8.       To practice meditative prayer using imagery, texts and reflection as understood from Christian history and story.
CLPS19 Silence & Stillness; Images & Words
Evaluating and Reflecting
9.       To investigate examples of how texts are used by Christian and college communities to support their beliefs.
Visual journal
Founders, communities, creeds and prayer?  (Cumulative Tasks)

Our Digital Context

Religious Education seeks to engage students in the critical, creative, and responsible use of digital tools which is an important component of digital citizenship. It includes provision and use of IT devices and both College network and on-line resources. This enables them to express their learning in rich and relevant ways and connect with individuals and communities in a global context. 
Digital Resources at the College include:
  • Databases
  • Oliver
  • Moodle
  • K-Web (Religious Education and ResourceLink)
  • Australia's Religious Communities
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