EDRE515 – Assignment 1
The religious education system in Australian Catholic Schools has endured many significant changes since the Second Vatican Council. With reference to Peta Goldburg’s (2012) Transforming religious education: Implications from the Second Vatican Council, the following discussion will review and critique the important religious education approaches that has had an impact on the Catholic schooling system for the past fifty years, and also help shape the contemporary classroom we teach in today. The Catechism Post Vatican II
During the first Vatican the catechism was used as a primary source of educating Catholics of Christian faith and doctrines of the church. The catechism consisted of teachings particularly of the Catholic Church, common prayers, the script of mass, the creeds and other important Sacraments. Catechist instruction was passed down from generations and therefore families, as well as the church saw this as a very important aspect of the Catholic identity. Post Vatican II educators and catechists started to search for other methods that would better suit the current audience it was intended for. The limitations of the catechism saw that the traditional and out dated rote learning or memorisation approach, although sometimes effective (especially when teaching church dogma) was not allowing students to gain a deep understanding or use critical thinking and metacognition. The Catechism instruction was a very straight ford, rigid, structured and forceful approach that lacked enthusiasm, student engagement and inspiration. It also discouraged other religious beliefs, cultures or life experiences and because this approach relied on teacher instruction there was no room for opinion or intelligent discussion within the classroom. In today’s society only using one teaching methodology of memorisation or re-citing would not be acceptable. Although the catechism approach had its flaws it also had its strengths as well, strengths that can still be adapted in to the classroom today. The Catechism provides a connection with the faith tradition and liturgical practises of the Catholic Church. Being used with other teaching resources and methodologies, the catechism is a good source to use in innovative and structured lessons which focus on Gospel values and how students can carry out these values in their own lives. The following Catholic Church documents: the General Catechetical Directory (GCD, 1971), Catechesi Tradendae (CT, 1979), and the General Directory for Catechesis (GDC 1997) demonstrate the ongoing changes in religious education. These church doctrines introduce a renewed church with a shift from using a Catechism approach to using educational methods that continue to develop the Christian faith, however with a passion and enthusiasm of the Gospel. The Kerygmatic Approach
The Kerygmatic approach was used in Australian Catholic Schools in the 1960’s. It covered a range of activities involved in teaching Christian faith, however also emphasised Christ as the centre of Salvation. According to Goldburg (2012) “The former stress on knowledge alone was replaced by an emphasis on love: the message of Christ and the teachings of the church were looked upon as expressions of God’s love for all people” (p.286). The Kerygmatic approach adopted the same view as the early church once had that Christianity is joyous. This approach focussed on Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection rather than the regimented and structured approach the catechism presented. Teaching strategies included: singing, creative movement, miming, puppetry, storytelling and drama, construction activities and going on excursions. Many of these teaching methodologies are used in classrooms today. The Kerygmatic texts, known as ‘My Way to God’, encouraged teachers to use a variety of teaching pedagogies similar to other curriculum areas. Every student has their own unique style of learning and it is important to learn from the...
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