Model For Religious Education

The St. Anthony’s RE program recognises and supports both dimensions of Religious Education, the classroom learning and teaching of Religion and the Religious Life of the school. The Vision for Religious Education is realised in a contemporary context where we strive to deliver quality education in Religion to all our students as we do for all other subjects.

At St Anthony’s teaching people religion and teaching people to be religious draw upon the Catholic Christian tradition in ways that are mindful of local contexts and the ecumenical and multi-faith realities of contemporary culture.  The distinct and complementary nature of both dimensions of Religious Education has been conceptualised in the following Model for Religious Education.

venn diagram

Diagram taken from The Shape of Religious Education, Model for Religious Education BCE website

We recognise the distinctive and complementary aspect of these two dimensions of Religious Education as part of a holistic education and the formation of the students at St Anthony’s. The activities and experiences for the classroom learning and teaching of religion and the religious life of the school are responsive to religious diversity, while being faithful to the Catholic Christian identity of the school.

Some examples include:

  • Class Masses in year 3-7 each term and reconciliation in year 4-7.
  • Prep to 2 liturgy of the word based on what is being taught in classroom religion.
  • Franciscan values poster promotes the Franciscan Ethos and Charism.
  • Annual Walk to Make a difference Project compassion fundraiser is tied to units on Social Justice and Action.
  • Opportunity for involvement in different types of prayer and celebration during the school year.

A Reconceptualist approach to the Religion Curriculum P-12

At St Anthony’s teachers follow a reconceptualist approach to the teaching of Religion, it operates out of and educational framework rather than from a catechetical or ‘shared Christian praxis’ framework. In a reconceptualist approach the classroom teaching of religion a primary area for dealing with the critical religious issues and concerns for life. There are three key considerations for teachers using this approach: the Avoidance of Presumptive Language, Teaching ‘about’ the Tradition and Powerful Pedagogies.

In a reconceptualist approach, teachers avoid using presumptive language and do not start with assumptions about students’ faith development based upon their particular religious affiliation. At St Anthony’s during planning teachers always begin with the needs of the students in their class. This can change from class to class and year to year. Teachers consider the background and abilities of their students in planning units of work. Careful consideration is given to ensuring that teachers use language that is invitational and educational to better engage students in the religion classroom. When using non-presumptive language, teachers provide students with the freedom to respond in ways that do not assume a programmed response.
Teaching about the tradition entails “exploring the meaning of one’s own religious life in relation to both those who share that life and those who do not” (Scott, 1984, p.334). This educational focus requires the students and staff to have a critical appreciation of their own religious traditions and an empathetic understanding of the religious beliefs and practices of others. It is not merely the transference of facts and knowledge or a values driven philosophy of religion. In teaching about the Catholic Christian tradition we give witness to the value we place on our personal religious beliefs and the authenticity of the teaching process.

St Anthony’s follows the pedagogical practices embedded in the Brisbane Catholic Education Model of Pedagogy. These practices are consistent with a reconceptualist approach to the teaching of religion. Five practices provide a common language for planning and reflecting on learning and teaching in the religion classroom: focusing on learners and their learning; establishing clear learning intentions and success criteria; activating multiple ways of knowing, interacting and opportunities to construct knowledge; responding with feedback to move learning forward; and evaluating learning with students as activators of their own learning and resources for others.

Shared Responsibility