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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2022 - 2023

Module Title Teaching and Learning in Religious Education
Module Code ES567
School 76

Online Module Resources

Module Co-ordinatorDr James O'Higgins NormanOffice NumberCA123
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module will introduce student teachers to Religious Education as an area of learning in post-primary education in Ireland. Participating in this module will develop knowledge and understanding of how classroom practice meets curricular framework requirements for Junior and Senior Cycle Religious Education. The module aims to develop student teachers' subject specific pedagogical content knowledge and their personal and professional identities as educators. Student teachers will be supported in becoming responsive and reflective practitioners and confident curriculum makers, through individual and collaborative engagement. The module will explore how practice is underpinned by theory in the context of professional learning. Student teachers will examine the role of inclusive practice and care in the creation of equitable learning experiences for all students. Engaging in this module will advance student teachers' communicative, digital and interpersonal skills and enable them to establish effective and creative learning environments.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically engage with the Junior and Senior Cycle curricular guidelines for Religious Education, with particular reference to curricular reform.
2. Reflect on their emerging professional identity as subject experts and autonomous practitioners and on their capacity to foster professional relationships with students, parents, colleagues and members of the wider school community and teaching profession.
3. Critically evaluate and reflect on the theoretical underpinnings of a range of methods and resources to support and encourage students to take ownership of their learning through individual and collaborative engagement.
4. Devise and develop differentiated and inclusive teaching, learning and assessment strategies that enable all students to progress in accordance with their potential.
5. Appreciate how inclusive, equitable and responsive practices and content positively impact student wellbeing, social justice and sustainable development.
6. Design learning experiences that support the development of a creative mindset.
7. Explore the role of digital technologies in supporting teaching, learning and assessment for all students.
8. Demonstrate a capacity to promote literacy and numeracy in relation to subject discipline.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Workshop24Workshops where students engage with core module content, participate in and reflect on modelled teaching episodes
Online activity10Synchronous and asynchronous lectures discussing and engaging with core module learning
Group work15Collaborative lesson design and subject based collegial activities
Independent Study50Individual lesson design, resource preparation, reflection and evaluation of teaching, reading.
Assignment Completion26Designing subject specific learning experiences, including the alignment of theory and practice.
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

Introduction to Subject Specific Pedagogical Content Knowledge
Introduction to subject specific inclusive pedagogical practices through modelled workshops and demonstrations. Explore, develop and reflect on teaching, learning and assessment practices in workshops and online lectures.

Core Values of Teaching and Professional Practice
Development of core values of teaching including care, collegiality, collaboration, relationship building and student-centred learning through engagement in professional learning communities.

The Teacher/Facilitator as Curriculum Maker and Reflective Practitioner
Synthesise key curricular and pedagogical concepts through Junior and Senior Cycle lesson design, implementation and reflection to construct a professional vision of quality teaching, learning and assessment.

Theory and Practice
Engagement with relevant learning artefacts (e.g. curricular resources, digital and sensory stimuli, academic literature, policy documents etc.) to understand the relationship between theory and practice.

Methodologies for Teaching Religious Education
Universal design for learning (UDL) including teacher exposition, concept learning, multiple entry points and flexible options for engagement, action, analysis and reflection, Reading and writing including text analysis, modelling, reflective journals, case study, narrative engagement, Digital technologies including the flipped classroom approach, visual images, video, animations, Google Earth, social media, video-creation, podcast-creation, website design, virtual online learning platforms (Edmodo, Thinkglink), Participative learning methods including group work, think-pair-share work, activity based learning, analogical engagement, game-based learning activities, Approaching classroom-based assessment (CBAs) and course work that develops critical thinking, analysis and reflection, Discussion and controversy methods for exploring controversial issues, Interreligious and Intercultural engagement that promotes integrity, dialogue, respect and equality, Shared praxis approach, by T. H. Groome, ‘that critically correlates ‘life’ with ‘the spiritual wisdom of religion(s)’ (LCRE Guidelines p.110).

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
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

  • Barnes, L. Philip (ed): 2018, Learning to Teach Religious Education in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience, Routledge,
  • Barnes, L. Philip: 2011, Debates in Religious Education, Routledge,
  • Brennan, Oliver: 2005, Critical Issues in Religious Education, Veritas,
  • Byrne, Gareth and Francis, Leslie J.: 2019, Religion and Education: The Voices of Young People in Ireland, Veritas,
  • Groome, Thomas H.: 1998, Educating for Life: A Spiritual Vision for Every Teacher and Parent, Resources for Christian Living,
  • Shanahan, Mary (ed): 2017, Does Religious Education Matter?, Routledge,
  • Souza, Marian, Durka, Gloria, Engebretson, Kathleen, Jackson, Robert and McGrady, Andrew (eds): 2006, International Handbook of the Religious, Moral and Spiritual Dimensions in Education,
  • Whittle, Sean: 2021, Irish and British Reflections on Catholic Education: Foundations, Identity, Leadership Issues and Religious Education in Catholic Schools, Springer,
  • Groome, Thomas H.: 1991, Sharing Faith, Harper, San Francisco,
  • Groome, Thomas H.: 1980, Christian Religious Education, Harper & Row, San Francisco,
  • Wood, Cavan: 2008, 100 Ideas for Teaching Religious Education, Continuum,
Other Resources

53885, Journal, 0, Journal of Religious Education, https://www.springer.com/journal/40839, 54659, Website, Curriculum Online, 0, Junior Cycle Religious Education Specification and Assessment Guidelines, https://www.curriculumonline.ie/Junior-cycle/Junior-Cycle-Subjects/Religious-Education/, 54660, Website, Curriculum Online, 0, Leaving Certificate Religious Education Syllabus and Guidelines for Teachers, https://www.curriculumonline.ie/Senior-cycle/Senior-Cycle-Subjects/Religious-Education/, 0, Website, 0, Irish Centre for Religious Education (ICRE), DCU, https://www.dcu.ie/icre, 54661, Website, Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT), 0, Religious Education, https://www.jct.ie/religious_education/religious_education, 0, Website, Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST), 0, Senior Cycle Religious Education, https://www.pdst.ie/sc/religiouseducation, 0, Website, 0, Religion Teachers' Association of Ireland (RTAI), www.rtai.ie, 53889, Website, 0, The European Forum for Teachers of Religious Education (EFTRE), https://eftre.net/,
Programme or List of Programmes
PMEProfessional Master of Education