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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Introduction to Religious Education
Module Code ED1303
School 76
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Sandra Cullen
Semester 2: Sandra Cullen
Autumn: Sandra Cullen
Module TeachersSandra Cullen
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only
Students will be asked to submit a 1200 word essay for reassessment purposes.

This module introduces students to the discipline of religious education as the critical encounter between religion and education as well as a faith development activity. The module will provide a historical overview of the development of religious education theory and practice as it has evolved in Ireland. Students will also consider how religious education is shaped by the particular social context of the diverse classroom and reflect on how it provides an inclusive space for the understanding of, and respectful dialogue, between a variety of religious and other worldviews. Students will and draw on the perspective of selected theorists to begin to develop an inclusive, student-centred and holistic rationale for the inclusion of religious education in schools on the basis of its contribution to interculturalism and global citizenship education.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of current challenges for religious education today and how these pertain to the teaching of religious education in second level schools.
2. Offer a rationale for the inclusion of religious education in schools on educational grounds.
3. Consider why and how religious communities approach religious education.
4. Trace key 20th and 21st century developments in religious education.
5. Display a degree of independence of thought; together with an awareness of, and appreciation for, the independent thoughts and needs of others.
6. Express a coherent, person-centered philosophy of life in the classroom and beyond, reflecting a generous respect for young people from a variety of social, economic, cultural and religious backgrounds.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22Engagement in lecture based activities
Assignment Completion50Assignments
Independent Study53Preparation for lectures - required reading
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Situating contemporary religious education in its historical context

How the religions teach their members

The history and concerns of Christian Religious Education

The educational case for Religious Education in second-level schools

From catechesis to religious education - Ireland: a case study

Implications for the teaching of Religious Education at second level in a variety of contexts

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
ProjectProject that invites students to make the case, in a creative way, for the inclusion of Religious Education in second-level education on educational grounds.50%Sem 2 End
Short Answer QuestionsEncyclopedia Entry20%Week 24
Reflective journal800 word reflective essay30%Week 28
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Byrne, Gareth & Kieran, Patricia (eds.): 2013, Toward Mutual Ground, Columba, Dublin,
  • Cullen, Sandra: 2022, ‘Two Roads Diverged: Policy Shifts in Second-Level Religious Education 1998–2020’, In B. Walsh (ed.) Education Policy in Ireland Since 1922, Palgrave Macmillan,
  • Mary Shanahan: 2017, Does Religious Education Matter?, Routledge,
  • Hession, Anne: 2015, Catholic Primary Religious Education in a Pluralist Environment, Veritas, Dublin,
  • Lane, Dermot: 2008, Challenges Facing Religious Education in Contemporary Ireland, Veritas, Dublin,
  • Devitt, Patrick, M.: 2000, Willingly to School, Veritas, Dublin,
  • Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference: 2010, Share the Good News: National Directory for Catechesis, Veritas, Dublin,
  • Tuohy, David: 2013, Denominational Education and Politics: Ireland in a European Context, Veritas, Dublin,
  • Watson, Brenda & Thompson, Penny: 2007, The Effective Teaching of Religious Education, Longman, Harlow,
  • Anne Looney: 2006, Religious Education in the Public Space: Challenges and Contestations’. In deSouza et al. International Handbook of the Religious, Moral and Spiritual Dimensions in Education Part Two., Springer, The Netherlands,
Other Resources

49719, Website, Congregation for Catholic Education 1988, 1988, 1988, The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School, http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_19880407_ca, 49721, Newspaper, Sandra Cullen, 2018, ‘Young demonstrate appetite to learn about religion in schools’, Irish Times, https://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/young-demonstrate-appetite-to-learn-about-religion-in-schools-1.3423115, 0, Film, Gearrscannáin, 2013, Rúbaí, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjYx5v2BUWo,
Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BREBachelor of Religious Education &English
BRHBachelor of Religious Education &History
BRMBachelor of Religious Education & Music
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
IESAStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
IESAOStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)

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