EL256 Teaching Religion in a Contemporary Irish School

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Module Level

8 (Undergraduate)

Time Allowance

Lectures 24 Hours


Classwork 30% Mid-Term Assignment 30% • End of Semester Assignment 40%

Module Aims

The course is designed to introduce students to aspects of teaching religion in Irish Primary and Secondary Schools.


By the end of the module, students will be able to.

  • 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

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


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