Ever since its promulgation, in the late 1960s, the curriculum document entitled The Melbourne Religious Education Guidelines for Primary Students in the Archdiocese of Melbourne has attracted strong criticism from various members of the Roman Catholic community. This adverse criticism has prompted me to undertake an evaluation of the 1984 edition of this document. To enable me to analyze the document, both theologically and educationally, I have constructed classifications of theologies and education models. These classifications have been used to identify the dominant theological basis of the suggested curriculum and the religious education model used in its implementation. My analysis established that the theological basis of the document was propositional, tempered by some of the characteristics of Heilsgeschichte theology. The content of the program contained both secular and religious material but, since they were not integrated, they gave the impression of two separate syllabi, used independently of each other. The methodology commenced with the students’ experience but proceeded to the transmission of doctrinal religious knowledge. The language used in the expression of aims and goals contained characteristics of Heilsgeschichte theology and the Kerygmatic model of religious education. It was, therefore, seen to be in tension with the teaching methodology which emphasized transmission of doctrine, thus causing internal tensions and inconsistencies.
|Date of Award||1987|