TS 109 Foundations of Religious Education

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Module Level


Time Allowance

4 hours on campus lectures during the weekend residentials (divided between 2 weekends) 6 hours live on-line lectures on Wednesday evening, 6 hours of self-directed learning, Assignment – 15 hours, Private Study – 24 hours.


• Reflection Pieces • Project Work • Essay

Module Aims

To provide students with an introduction to the meaning, tradition and contemporary practice of religious education with a particular focus both on the teaching of Religious Education at post-primary level, with particular but not exclusive reference to Catholic Education.

Indicative Syllabus:

  • Religious Education
  • Religious Education – Theological and Philosophical Perspectives
  • Integrating Theology and Religious Education
  • Catholic Education
  • Vision, Ethos and Identity of Faith Based Schools
  • Spirituality of the Child
  • Religious Education – Curricula
  • Religious Education – Programmes
  • Religious Education – Methodologies & Planning
  • Religious Education – Contemporary Issues and Challenges
  • Faith, Spirituality and Education
  • Teacher Identity

Learning Outcomes

  • • Define the principle terms and concepts associated with Irish education today and specifically Religious Education.
  • • Understand the difference between Religious Education, Catholic Education and Catechesis.
  • • Integrate their theological knowledge into religious education methodologies.
  • • Explain the concepts and current thinking on Childhood Spirituality.
  • • Understand the current curricula and syllabi for teaching religious education in Ireland.
  • • Show proficiency in constructing lesson plans based on content and current methodologies.
  • • Understand and evaluate the current challenges involved in teaching religious education today.
  • • Identify and describe the relationship between faith, spirituality and education as it is manifest in post-primary education today.
  • • Discuss the place of a faith and spirituality in the life of a teachers


  • Barnes, L. Philip, ed. Debates in Religious Education. London: Routledge 2012.
  • Best, Ron, ed. Education, Spirituality and the Whole Child. London: Cassell 1996.
  • Byrne, Garth & Patricia Kieran. Toward Mutual Ground – Pluralism, Religious Education and Diversity in Irish Schools. Dublin: Columba Press, 2013.
  • Groome, Thomas H. Will There be Faith? Depends on Every Christian. Dublin: Veritas, 2011.
  • Hession, Anne Catholic Primary Religious Education in a Pluralist Environment. Dublin: Veritas 2015.
  • Kieran, Patricia and Anne Hession, eds. Exploring Religious Education: Catholic Religious Education in an Intercultural Europe. Dublin: Veritas, 2008.
  • Lane, Dermot A. Challenges Facing Religious Education in Contemporary Ireland. Dublin: Veritas, 2008.
  • O’Higgins Norman, James, ed. Education Matters – Readings in Pastoral Care for School Chaplains, Guidance Counsellors and Teachers. Dublin: Veritas, 2011.
  • Ratcliff, Donald E., ed. Handbook of Children’s Religious Education. Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press, 1992.