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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2022 - 2023

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module is designed using the principles of Universal Design for Learning. It begins by bringing students into conversation with contemporary research concerning the spiritual capacity of the child and the psychological processes of faith development, i.e. ‘faith’ understood broadly as ‘the universal capacity for meaning making’ (Fowler, 1981). Students engage with the wider theoretical context as well as professional content knowledge, and finally, build on this knowledge by appreciating its pedagogical application through an analysis of the current Catholic Religious Education Programme Grow in Love (P5/6/7/8). This module encourages students to reflect on the way in which children’s spiritual, moral and religious development shapes their experience of religious education as well as how the spiritual dimension of the human person is essential to any iteration of liberal and holistic education. As part of this module, students study the sociology and psychology of religion, children’s spirituality, the psychological process of faith development, hermeneutics of religious education, good practice in the inclusion of all pupils, global citizenship, the social processes of pluralization and secularization, and the ideologies of pluralism and secularism with the view to deepening students understanding of the child’s participation in religious education in the context of a changing cultural and religious classroom landscape. This module further develops student’s professional expertise by engaging their creativity and innovation in relation to integrated learning in religious education. Students encounter religious education as a curricular area that exists alongside all of the other curricular areas, i.e. as ‘part of’ as opposed to ‘separate from’ the curriculum. Students are afforded the opportunity to give specific attention to their planning, particularly progressional schemes. As part of this module, students all engage with the Church of Ireland Centre with the view to assisting them in preparation for school placement by highlighting the differences and similarities that evident between Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland schools in the Republic of Ireland. This module explores the role of ICT in religious education. It develops the digital literacy skills of initial teacher educators as well as their digital pedagogical skills. By way of its design this module introduces students to Universal Design for Learning and offers an exemplar of good practice for students in terms of utilizing a variety of multimedia in religious education to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment that is cognizant of the diversity of learners in the class. The approach to assessment in the module builds on its implicit emphasis on the development of their digital literacy skills by integrating technology, creative and innovation in the assessment of the module. Students are required to complete an eportfolio during the semester which necessitates that they actively practice their digital skills pedagogically in the module.

Learning Outcomes

1. Examine research on the psychological and spiritual development of children and how it applies to the Catholic religious education curriculum.
2. Identify unique features and methodologies of the new Grow in Love third and fourth-class programmes.
3. Understand the Catholic approach to religious education and distinguish it from other denominational/non-denominational approaches.
4. Construct Progressional schemes of work in Catholic religious education exploring curricular integration
5. Explore inclusive practice in curriculum design, i.e. Universal Design for Learning, and identify good practice in the inclusion of all pupils in Catholic religious education
6. Develop digital literacy skills by engaging with a variety of multimedia content, i.e. H5P, Podcasts, LOOP Quizzes, Video/Audio content etc.
7. Apply and demonstrate digital literacy skills through the completion of an Eportfolio assessment

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture10Attendance at weekly lecture
Seminars10Weekly Seminar Activities: [1] Attendance at bi-weekly synchronous face-to-face seminar workshops. [2] Completion of bi-weekly asynchronous interactive H5P seminar activity
Independent Study100Research and reading for assignment and writing of assignment
Total Workload: 120

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

The Spiritual Capacities of the Child

Introduction to Faith Development Theory

Introduction to Grow in Love 3rd Class/P5 & 4th Class/P6

Introduction to Grow in Love 5th Class/P7 & 6th Class/P8

Progressional Schemes for School Placement

Curricular Integration and Religious Education

Religion, Truth and Education

Partnership, Ethos and Religious Education.

Progressional Schemes for School Placement

Inclusion and the Catholic School

Citizenship and the Contribution of Religious Education

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
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
Indicative Reading List

  • Anne Hession: 2015, Catholic Primary Religious Education in a Pluralist Context, Veritas Publications, Dublin, 9781847305
  • Ednan Aslan, Ranja Ebrahim, and Marcia Hermansen: 2016, Islam, Religions, and Pluralism in Europe, Springer, Berlin,
  • de Souza M., Francis L.J., O’Higgins-Norman J., Scott D.: 2009, International Handbook of Education for Spirituality, Care and Wellbeing, 3, Springer, Dordrecht,
  • Byrne, G, and Francis, L.: 2019, Religion and Education: The Voices of Young People, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • Byrne, G: 2013, Toward Mutual Ground: Pluralism, Religious Education, and Diversity in Irish Schools, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • Catholic Schools Partnership: 2015, Sharing Good Practice on the Inclusion of All Pupils: Catholic Primary Schools in a Changing Ireland, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • Department of Education and Skills: 1995, Charting our Education Future White Paper On Education: Launch Copy, Department of Education, gov.ie,
  • Department of Education and Skills: 0, Primary School Curriculum: An Introduction, NCCA, Dublin,
  • Department of Education and Skills: 1999, Overview Wall-Chart, NCCA, Dublin,
  • Edwards, J. S, and Hobson, P. R.: 1999, The Legitimacy and Place of Religious Education in Schools', Religious Education in a Pluralist Society: The Key Philosophical Issues, Woburn Press, London,
  • Kieran, P, and Grenham, T: 2012, New Educational Horizons in Contemporary Ireland: Trends and Challenges, Peter Lang, Oxford,
  • Irish Episcopal Conference: 2017, Grow In Love 3rd Class/Primary 5, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • Irish Episcopal Conference: 2017, Grow In Love 4th Class/ Primary 6, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • Irish Episcopal Conference: 2018, Grow In Love 5th Class/ Primary 7, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • Irish Episcopal Conference: 2018, Grow In Love 6th Class/ Primary 8, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • Hand, M.: 2004, Is Religious Education Possible? A Philosophical Investigation, London, Bloomsbury Academic,
  • Hannam, P: 2019, Religious Education and the Public Sphere, London, Routledge,
  • Hession, A and Kieran, P.: 2005, Catholicism and Religious Education, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • Byrne, G and Whittle, S.: 2021, Catholic Education: A Lifelong Journey, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • Jackson, R: 2003, International Perspectives on Citizenship, Education and Religious Diversity ed. Robert Jackson (London: Routledgefalmer, 2003), pp. 131-149., London, Routledgefalmer,
  • Irish Episcopal Conference: 2015, Catholic Preschool and Primary Religious Education Curriculum for Ireland, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • Irish Episcopal Conference: 2010, Share the Good News: National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • Irish Episcopal Conference: 2017, Religious Education at the Heart of Our Primary Schools :Response to the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) Consultation on Time and Structure in a Primary Curriculum, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • Lane, D.: 2013, Religion and Education: Re-Imagining the Relationship, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • McCabe, H.: 2007, Faith within Reason, Continuum, London,
  • Maura Hyland: 2013, Why Send your Child to a Catholic School, Veritas Ltd, Dubklin,
  • Mojzes, P and Swidler, L.: 2000, The Study of Religion in an Age of Global Dialogue, Temple University Press, Philadelphia,
  • Mullally, A.: 2010, Guidelines on the Inclusion of Other Faiths in Catholic Secondary Schools, JMB/AMCSS, Dublin,
  • Parks, S. D.: 2011, Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Mentoring Emerging Adults in their Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Faith, Jossey-Bass, (San Francisco, CA,
  • Hession, A and Kieran, P.: 2008, Exploring Religious Education: Catholic Religious Education in an Intercultural Europe, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • Tuohy, David.: 2013, Denominational Education and Politics: Ireland in a European Context, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • Department of Education and Skills: 1998, Education Act 1998, gov.ie,
  • Byrne, G: 2004, Nurturing Children’s Religious Imagination: The Challenge of Primary Religious Education Today, Veritas Ltd, Dublin,
  • Wright, A.: 2020, Religious Education and Critical Realism: Knowledge, Reality and Religious Literacy, Routledge, London,
  • Wright, A.: 2007, Critical Religious Education, Multiculturalism and the Pursuit of Truth, University of Wales, Cardiff,
  • Wright, A.: 2004, Post-Modernity, Education and Religion, Routledge, London,
Other Resources

50781, Podcast, David Kennedy, 2021, Conversations from the Classroom, youtube, https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfMpm8p03L0O7zywGChfE-_B101-9Eodo, 50782, Online Resource, David Kennedy, 2021, ICT and Religious Education: Resources for School Placement, LOOP, https://loop.dcu.ie/mod/book/view.php?id=1605760, 51031, Website, Ahead, 2022, Universal Design for Learning, ahead.ie, https://www.ahead.ie/udl,
Programme or List of Programmes