Introduction to the Principles
and Practice of Religious Education (16 points) 

GCTRE Foundational Unit

Dr Denise Goodwin
Four Saturdays, 2020
9.30am – 4.00pm

The unit introduces students to the principles and practice of religious education within the context of the Catholic school in Australia. It highlights religious education as a ministry and pastoral instrument for promoting personal faith and development. Participants examine contemporary theological and educational principles underlying religious education, various pedagogical approach and selected works of educational theorists, including the language of Enhancing Catholic School Identity and Dialogue Schools. Clarification of the faith and spiritual development perspectives of children and adolescents, and the relationship of these for the use of Scripture and liturgy in the classroom is introduced. Current curriculum texts and resources and educational networks are studied. Lesson and unit planning for primary and secondary religious education is developed, implemented, and critically evaluated. Strategies for assessing and evaluating children and adolescents’ religious education are identified for classroom application.

Census Date

Tuesday 1 September



intensive mode: 9.30am — 4.00pm


  • Venue: Our Lady’s Primary School, Craigieburn Road West
  • Four Saturdays, 2020: 1, 22 August; 5 September; 10 October


  • Venue: Notre Dame Australia, Melbourne Clinical School, Hoppers Lane, Werribee
  • Four Saturdays, 2020: 8, 29 August; 12 September; 17 October


  • one 1,000-word critical review 20%
  • one 1,000-word essay 20%
  • one 2,700-word critical review 60%


  • Hyde, Brendan. Children and Spirituality: Searching for Meaning and Connectedness. London: Jessica Kingsley, 2008. 
  • Catholic Education Melbourne. Horizons of Hope: Education Framework for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Melbourne: Catholic Education Melbourne, 2016.
  • D’Orsa, Therese. Leading for Mission: Integrating Life, Culture and Faith in Catholic in Catholic Education. Mission and Education 3. Melbourne: Vaughan, 2013.
  • Engebretson, Kathleen, Joe Fleming, and Richard Rymarz. Thriving as an R. E. Teacher. Katoomba: Social Science Press, 2002. 
  • Erricker, Jane, Cathy Ota, and Clive Erricker, eds. Spiritual Education: Cultural, Religious and Social Differences: New Perspectives for the 21st Century. International Conference of Children’s Spirituality 1. Eastbourne: Sussex Academic, 2012. 
  • Groome, Thomas H. Sharing Faith: A Comprehensive Approach to Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry: The Way of the Shared Praxis. San Francisco: Harper Collins. 1991.
  • Pollefeyt, Didier, and Jan Bouwens. Identity in Dialogue: Assessing and Enhancing Catholic School Identity: Research Methodology and Research Results in Catholic Schools in Victoria, Australia. Berlin: Lit Verlag, 2014.