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eJournal of Catholic Education in Australasia
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2204-2504
Published by U of Notre Dame Australia Homepage  [2 journals]
  • Bullying prevention and mediation: the role of Values Education

    • Authors: Janine Brown et al.
      Abstract: The growing incidence of bullying in schools calls for alternative prevention and mediation approaches in which values are integrated into current practices. This study explores educators’ and parents’ beliefs about the explicit application of a values-based approach to bullying intervention and mediation in Catholic schools. Individual and focus group interview among teachers, principals and parents were held in three Catholic primary schools in the Sydney Metropolitan area. The study also served to identify current anti-bullying practices employed as well as to examine specific values perceived to be relevant by parents and educator in preventing and solving bullying conflicts. Respondents showed a preference for mediation interventions between bully and victim, drawing simultaneously on element of restorative practice, notions of accountability and imposition of consequences. Likewise, they supported a value-centred approach in dealing with the bully in order to achieve a positive behaviour. Specific professional development in dealing with bullying prevention in the practice of medication and consistency of practice were recommended. The paper also presents implication for professional development and creating an organic anti-bullying culture by incorporating values into the curriculum and examining the roles of students, parents, carers and the school.
      PubDate: Tue, 16 Nov 2021 22:45:26 PST
  • Ways Forward in Religious Education: Reflections of an Australian

    • Authors: David Hall FMS et al.
      Abstract: Within a changed and changing context for Religious Education, scholars and practitioners (n = 57) across Australia gathered to share and discern ways forward in Religious Education (RE) within Catholic schools. A Constant Comparative Analysis process identified five pathways (ways forward) in support of RE (Formation, Pedagogy, Curriculum, Partnerships, and Research). Each pathway was underpinned by foundations in faith, summarised by an integrating principle and advanced through strategic intentions. Faith foundations for Formation were centred in Christ, acknowledged Church tradition and focused on mission as part of one’s faith journey. The arena of Pedagogy was reinforced as dependent on dialogue, inquiry, and witness and underscored in love. Curriculum dimensions focused on identity and inclusion and were argued to be relevant and creative. Partnerships were encouraged through collaboration across school, parish and parent community; and, Research was grounded through building awareness and addressing accountability. The Integrating principles for each pathway included: Formation, ‘advancing formation for personal identity and school mission’; Pedagogy, ‘advancing an inquiry, experiential, encounter-based model’; Curriculum, ‘advancing a faith-based liberating curriculum’; Partnerships, ‘advancing practices which engage and strengthen collegiality’; and Research, ‘advancing data gathering which identifies needs and informs practice’. Strategies to support future RE were multifaceted and included: Formation (forums for networking and integrating faith experience with professional learning); Pedagogy (promoting teacher roles of moderator, specialist, witness); Curriculum (involving all staff in support of curriculum alignment); Partnerships (engaging partners beyond schools); and, Research (gathering and applying quality data). Colloquium conclusions informed an imagination for RE and offered a platform for consideration of ‘where to from here’ and ‘what might be next’.
      PubDate: Mon, 25 May 2020 22:00:31 PDT
  • Catholic schools, accompaniment and subsidiarity: Some teacher
           observations from a small, regional school system

    • Authors: Richard M. Rymarz
      Abstract: This research uses subsidiarity, a key principle of Catholic social teaching, to better understand teachers in a small, regional Australian diocese. Nine teachers with at least three years’ experience working in Catholic schools in the diocese were interviewed. The interviews focussed on three research questions: How do teachers come to work in this Catholic school system' What is their experience of working in Catholic schools' How do they feel supported in Catholic schools especially in regard to teaching religious education and identifying with the ethos of the school' Results indicated that the life journeys of teachers that brought them to work in Catholic schools in this region are complex but a number of salient features stand out. For many teachers, working in Catholic education is associated with opportunities that may not have arisen if they had not moved to this region. Teachers reported that they enjoyed working in Catholic schools, supported schools’ religious identity and expressed satisfaction with the levels of support they received both within the school and from the central Schools’ Office. The size of the Catholic school system allows for networks of personal relationships to be developed and this brings with it a collaborative and participatory sense. The teachers feel that they are part of a system that takes into account their own backgrounds, needs and interests. This is a good example of the practical application of the principle of subsidiarity.
      PubDate: Tue, 21 Apr 2020 22:15:34 PDT
  • Have you gone to Galilee' Spiritual and religious formation for
           Catholic school educators in Western Australia

    • Authors: Margaret Scharf et al.
      Abstract: This paper explores the personal and professional perceptions of twenty-two Catholic school educators in Western Australia who participated in a spiritual and faith formation program called Galilee. The paper initially outlines the background of the program followed by a review of the literature that focuses on five concepts: people are spiritual and religious beings; a desire to belong; the place of prayer; a journey of faith; and spiritual and faith formation. The research methodology is then provided. Specifically, the research was based on qualitative and quantitative data derived from an on-line survey. The results are reported in four sections. The first section concerns the personal impact of the Galilee program on participants. In particular, was the program valuable in developing a sense of confidence in participants’ own faith efficacy' The second section describes the professional impact the program had on participants’ confidence to promote spiritual and faith formation in their school communities. The third section reports on ways the program could be enhanced. The final section afforded participants an opportunity to make any further comments regarding the Galilee program.
      PubDate: Tue, 03 Mar 2020 15:45:26 PST
  • School Based Responses to Non-Suicidal Self Injury and Suicide: Literature
           Considerations When Framing a Policy Response

    • Authors: Martin Wiseman et al.
      Abstract: Deliberate Non-Suicidal Self Injury (NSSI) and suicide present distinct but related concerns for schools. An Australian study of over 6,300 families containing children/ adolescents aged 4 to 17 years found that one in 10 young people had engaged with NSSI – with three quarters of this cohort having harmed themselves in the previous twelve months (Lawrence, 2015). The same study found that within the 12 to 17 year old age group, one in 13 individuals had considered suicide in the previous 12 months, with one in 40 having made attempts (Lawrence, 2015). This article seeks to articulate key themes from literature that demand consideration by schools seeking to construct their own framework or pastoral response, balancing the prioritization of student safety whilst also attending to the realities of staff competencies. Given the age group presented in the Lawrence (2015) study, it should not be surprising that adolescents in the school context may disclosure the presence of intrusive thoughts pertaining to at-risk behaviours. Consequently, schools are well placed to deliver prevention services and simultaneously, need to be prepared to respond to situations of NSSI and suicide attempts. Drawing on the expertise of staff from an Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) school located in Brisbane, this paper draws links to existing policy determinants of pastoral care from within this Catholic school, whilst considering the issue of risk-to-self with relevant themes organized according to the three action areas outlined by the Queensland Suicide Action Prevention Plan (Queensland Mental Health Commission, 2015) namely: prevention; intervention; and postvention.
      PubDate: Thu, 29 Aug 2019 23:06:07 PDT
  • Pre-service Teachers’ Perspectives on Teaching Scripture in Primary
           Religious Education

    • Authors: Sharon Law-Davis et al.
      Abstract: One of the challenges for pre-service teachers in Catholic primary schools is the teaching of scripture stories within Religious Education. Research states that Catholic teachers in the 21st century require tertiary training in teaching the Religious Education curriculum and they need to learn effective strategies to teach specific content in this learning area, including scripture. Godly Play includes an approach to teaching scripture that was intended for use in parish and hospital settings. Godly Play is now promoted by Catholic Education Western Australia as a meaningful approach for influencing the teaching of scripture in RE in early childhood and primary classrooms. This paper reports on a research project that sought to ascertain pre-service teachers’ perspectives about Godly Play as a strategy for teaching scripture stories in RE in primary schools. Qualitative surveys were employed to collect pre-service teachers’ perspectives of Godly Play prior to and again after learning about Godly Play as one strategy for teaching scripture. Survey data were analysed by question through a process of thematic coding. The results from these surveys provide insight into pre-service teachers’ confidence and pedagogical perspectives with regards to the teaching of scripture. Specifically, findings provide insight into pre-service teachers’ perspectives of the storytelling component of Godly Play as an effective strategy to equip them with the confidence, knowledge and ability to share biblical texts with primary-aged children in RE classes. Findings from this research have implications for pre-service teachers seeking employment in Catholic schools. Additionally, implications for Catholic education more broadly are discussed as well as considerations for future research.
      PubDate: Tue, 12 Feb 2019 02:12:20 PST
  • Jesus of Nazareth at the Heart of Catholic Schools: What Can We Learn
           about Jesus from the Gospel Women'

    • Authors: Maurice Ryan
      Abstract: All Catholic schools locate Jesus of Nazareth at the heart of their enterprise. Jesus is their hero and sponsor; their inspiration and leader. Jesus of Nazareth is the key to the identity and mission of a Catholic school. Insights about Jesus provide intellectual, religious and pastoral resources that assist Catholic schools in pursuing their educational goals. Unfortunately, the sources for encountering and understanding Jesus seem opaque and distant rather than immediate and transparent. This paper focuses on the gospel women and what we might learn from them about Jesus of Nazareth. The paper surveys scholarship on the gospel women in order to gain insights into the meaning of Catholic identity in the context of contemporary Catholic schools.
      PubDate: Fri, 14 Dec 2018 00:15:28 PST
  • ‘Has anyone here seen Amos'’ – re-establishing ‘prophetic
           imagination’ at the centre of religious education and formation

    • Authors: Peter Mudge et al.
      Abstract: In 1989 Australian author and illustrator Bob Graham published a children’s book entitled Has anyone here seen William' This article seeks to construct a parallel narrative in relation to the category of the prophet, with a particular focus on the need to engage in prophetic imagination within the twin contexts of religious education (hereafter R.E.) and formation. In doing so it also makes reference to one of the archetypical biblical prophets - Amos. The article’s primary interlocutor is scripture scholar Walter Brueggemann (1982, 2002a, 2002b) who has written on topics as diverse as scripture exegesis and the theology of pain and homecoming. He has also written prominently on prophetic imagination, understood as the capacity to stand outside the dominant discourse or power structure of one’s day and critique it. As we will demonstrate throughout the article, Brueggemann’s scholarship in this area is complemented and refined through contact with the African-American philosopher Cornel West’s (1999) approach to prophetic critique, along with other commentators. Held together, both thinkers impel us to consider why teaching ‘about prophets’ needs to be complemented by an explicit cultivation of prophetic imagination, and how this might be seeded in crucial contexts such as religious education and formation. Following a brief introduction (part one) the second part explores the nature of the prophetic challenge. Part three focuses on recovery of the prophetic imagination, while part four examines ways to cultivate the prophetic imagination today. The final section considers conclusions and future directions in relation to topics raised throughout the paper.
      PubDate: Sun, 08 Apr 2018 18:30:34 PDT
  • The Congruence of Academic Motivation and Catholic Education

    • Authors: Monica J. Kowalski
      Abstract: Student motivation is of central concern for all teachers, as students cannot learn if they are not engaged and attentive during class. This essay describes how Catholic schools are uniquely designed to promote positive motivational patterns in students based on their foundation in the mysteries of the Catholic faith. The Paschal Mystery relates to students pursuing mastery goals and persisting through challenges, the Trinitarian Mystery reflects the focus on community and belongingness, the Incarnation relates to striving for excellence, and the Eucharist reflects the need for purpose. When Catholic schools are rooted in these mysteries and the mission of the Church, students are primed for a positive motivational experience in school.
      PubDate: Tue, 03 Apr 2018 23:35:34 PDT
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