In contemporary Australia, we have various faith and cultural backgrounds which shape who we are and our world view. In Religious Education and senior Religious Studies, we are seeking opportunities to share commonalities and investigate differences between faith and cultural expressions of belief. Our literacy goals for 2020 focus on intercultural understanding through inquiry. We are influenced by Kath Murdoch’s Inquiry Based Learning Model which allows our students to think about how they think, why they think what they do and tailor their own learning journey to discover more. There is a focus on critical and creative thinking skills as well as research. This semester, year 8 are investigating the origins of Christianity and Islam while year 10 are exploring ancient and indigenous belief systems and their significance to the individual and communities. In order to do this, we are following this model (adapted from Murdoch, 2010 and 2019)
We are challenging our boys to develop their own inquiry question and actively seek ways of researching and refining their question. This allows the students to investigate an aspect(s) of the religious traditions and ideas that they find interesting. We start with the ‘Big ideas’ and ‘Big questions’ such as “Why do people experience good and evil?” and “How does religion contribute the individual and society?”
As a Catholic school, it is important that we deliver a curriculum and environment which allows opportunity for encounter with Christ and understanding of faith. We certainly do still provide this, however, our boys are diverse in beliefs and culture and so it is important that we open dialogue with various faith traditions and celebrate what is in common and understand where any differences may lie.
We look forward to developing further in the space of Inquiry in the Religious Education Faculty.
Head of Religious Education