Teaching Religion in the Primary Classroom

ECTS Value: 1 ECTS


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

Keeping in mind that Religious Education is a demanding area of pedagogical education, this module intends to give future Primary teacher the opportunity to become familiar with the various methodologies through which Religious Education (RE) is imparted in the learning set up. Participants will be given opportunities to explore new grounds of how RE can be imparted. The curriculum content, methodology, instruction and evaluation require specific skills and thus, this module is designed to meet the needs of each individual involved, the ability to adjust to different situations. The Primary teacher, at all years, need to have the right knowledge, skills, attitudes and competences to follow and explore the field to be employed including the assessment of the students’ performance. Participants will explore the ways in which RE can be embedded in the whole programme of primary schooling. This module will ensure that the RE teacher will have a sound knowledge of the subject content and will have the competences required to delivery it through various methods of teaching and learning.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Manage the information acquired and experience acquired to promote a learning environment which is enjoyable, reachable and accessible to all, while helping his/her students to develop their cognitive and non-cognitive skills for learning;

b. Demonstrate autonomy in the way knowledge and skills are imparted due to the owning of a high level of understanding of the learning process involved in the Religious Education curriculum, both in terms of the present curriculum as well as the Learning Outcomes curriculum;

c. Conceptualize and link the subject content of Religious Education with the experiences of his/her students and their worldview through learning activities;

d. Create an action research in his/her own classroom; thus, investigating the effectiveness of the various models of pedagogy and assessment in Religious Education;

e. Initiate projects demonstrating their ability to explore the grounds of embedded teaching.


a. Compare and contrast the differences and commonalities between both the present curriculum and the Learning Outcomes curriculum through knowledge of the subject matter;

b. Experiment with and create a scheme of work as well as different types of lessons plans to cater for the different abilities and potentials, and the different social backgrounds of his/her students;

c. Effectively master the skills needed to face the future to live within a socio-critical context through knowledge of 21st century pedagogy;

d. Distinguish different methods of assessment and their corresponding purposes including how they cater for both the summative and formative purpose within an RE context;

e. Employing a suitable pedagogy for teaching RE in the Maltese context; whereby, learning is facilitated through the different resources created along the learning process.


a. Demonstrate the use of various pedagogic approaches and methodologies and apply them to the various social and cultural backgrounds encountered in class;

b. Develop new insights and be in a position to answer and satisfy students’ inquisitive human and spiritual questions in order to encourage them to acquire a holistic and inclusive perspective of the world around them and respect all adherents of all World Religions;

c. Formulate new skills developing an understanding of what 21st century pedagogy is based on;

d. Cultivate strategies to teach Religious Education in combination with other subjects through the Cross-Curricular themes as presented in the National Curriculum Framework;

e. Compare and contrast the effectiveness of the various modes of assessment in RE learning process according to the needs and potential of the students;

f. Evaluate the learning process to implement informed changes in pedagogy, choice of resources, and mode of.

Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List

1. Barnes, L.P. ed., (2011). Debates in religious education. Routledge.

2. Black, P. and Wiliam, D., 2009. Developing the theory of formative assessment. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability (formerly: Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education), 21(1), pp.5-31.

3. Cavalletti, S., (2002). The Religious Potential of the Child, 6 to 12 Years Old. Liturgy Training Publications.

4. Erricker, C., Lowndes, J. and Bellchambers, E., (2010). Primary Religious Education–A New Approach: Conceptual Enquiry in Primary RE. Routledge.

5. Fullan, M. and Langworthy, M. (January 2014). A Rich Sea. How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning. London: Pearson.

6. Grimmitt, M., (2000). Constructivist pedagogies of religious education project: Rethinking knowledge, teaching and learning in religious education. Pedagogies of religious education, pp.189-207.

7. Harlen, W. (2014). Assessment, standards and quality of Learning in Primary Education. W. Harlen. York: Cambridge Primary Review Trust, pp.40.

8. Husbands, C. and Pearce, J. (2012). What makes great pedagogy? Nine claims from research. National College for School Leadership, [online]. Available at: – [Accessed 4 January 2018]

9. Learning Outcomes Framework, (2015). Religion. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 January 2018]. 10. Ministry for Education and Employment. The Fronter Platform for Primary schools – Year 1 – Year 6. Available at: [Accessed 4 January 2018]

11. Niculescu, R. M. and Norel, M., Religious education an important dimension of human’s education. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences. 93 (2013), pp. 338 – 342.

12. Scott, C. L. (2015). Cynthia Luna Scott. he Future of Learning 3: What kind of pedagoies for the 21st century? UNESCO Education Research and Foresight, Paris. [ERF Working Papers Series, No. 15].

Supplementary Reading List

1. Chater, M. and E. Clive. (2013). Does Religious Education have a Future? Pedagogical and policy prospects. Routledge.

2. Davies, G. (2004). Religious Education in the Primary School. School of Education.
[online] Bangor: University of Wales. Available at: [Accessed 4 January 2018]

3. Duffy, E. (author and editor). (2012). Catholic Primary Education. Facing new challenges. Columba Press.

4. Fancourt, N. – Teaching about Chrisitanity in relgious education: a review of research, [online] University of Oxford. Available at:
[Accessed 4 January 2018]

5. Fontana, D. (1995). Psychology for Teachers. 3rd ed. New York: Palgrave.


1. Archdiocese of Brisbane. (2016). Religious Education Planning and Assessing in Religious Education.
Available at: [Accessed 4 January 2018].

2. Hand, M. (2012). On Religious Education.
Available at: [Accessed 4 January 2018].

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