Date of Award

1-1-2002

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Wayne Tinsey

Abstract

This study shows that the integrity of curriculum in Catholic Schools can be demonstrated through an integrated curriculum, with Religious Education (R.E.) as the primary focus, centre point and generator of learning experiences across all subjects or Key Learning Areas (K.L.As). The contemporary, Catholic nature of curriculum is able to be developed via an outcomes-based approach that integrates R.E. with other Key Learning Areas. The "Integrated Religious Education Outcomes Approach" represents a personal belief of the author, developed as a classroom teacher in five Catholic schools and a member of three schools' Executive. The response to this belief is the motivation behind this study. The theoretical response includes an examination of integration and the function and purpose of outcomes- based education. There is relevance and potential for Religious Education curriculum outcomes to be linked to other Key Learning Areas Consequently, the role of Catholic schools in developing courses of work within a Catholic setting, and the religious dimension of the broad curriculum and of each K.L.A., are explored. Findings show that there is validity to the development of an approach that integrates R.E. outcomes when programming courses of work. This practical response IS demonstrated in a uniquely Catholic unit of work that focuses on one of the R.E. themes recurring across the Primary school. The integrated unit used in this study sets out the outcome and content links across and between all K.L.A.s. Findings show that it is a document from which teachers are able to facilitate the teaching and learning process, whilst maintaining course requirements of the N.S.W. Board of Studies' K.L.A. Syllabuses and the Wollongong Diocesan R.E. Curriculum Guidelines. Findings also show that teachers are supported in developing the practice of integration, an increased awareness of the function of outcomes, and the significance of R.E. in the formal curriculum. The study shows that teachers are willing to embrace trends and methodology that assist planning, organise and present learning in new ways and promotes R.E. within the context of the broader curriculum.

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