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Integrating systemic and school-based priorities into a curriculum model for secondary religious studies

Eversden, Stella (1993) Integrating systemic and school-based priorities into a curriculum model for secondary religious studies. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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This study enquires about designing a curriculum model in religious education at secondary level (for ages approximately 14 upwards) which would seek to redress the problems inherent in existing models, and would aim to satisfy educational, systemic and school-based criteria in the religious education curricula of both government and non-government schools. A review of models in Britain, America, and Australia, and policies of school-based curriculum development and multiculturalism was conducted. The objective of "dialogical consciousness" was introduced, using cross-paradigm dialogue, which was considered both desirable and possible. Recommended were the adoption of a transcultural perspective by teachers, and qualified support of the home tradition rather than the less­ preferred alternatives of relativism or nihilism. The indoctrination issue was reviewed with a view to its avoidance in the proposed model. Also, ethical guidelines for evaluation to escape the indoctrination charge were proposed.

A set of criteria was drawn up and the "cross-paradigm dialogical conscientization" (CPDC) model was identified, using a set of cross-disciplinary open-ended questions drawn from Education's parent disciplines. To test its adaptability, the CPDC model was demonstrated to be useful in both Catholic and government school systems. It was then used in principle as a basis of an ideology self-critique. It was recommended that the CPDC model be used with existing syllabuses and teaching methods to ensure that religious education might become both ethically and educationally sound, so that Religious Studies (perhaps re­termed Religiology) may be included in the core curriculum, and in matriculation scores, to restore the status of religion in the curriculum and subsequently in society.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Board of Theological Studies
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Supervisor(s): UNSPECIFIED
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