Agora for Spiritual, Moral and Religious Education

The Agora for Spiritual, Moral and Religious Education (ASMRE) is a site for exchange of information and discussion on the interface between research/scholarship and practice.

The Ancient Greek Agora was a place not just for commerce, but for open discussion of life issues, philosophy, religion and politics. St Paul was said to have debated the 'unknown god' on the Areopagus rock. This website is in keeping with the latter social function of the Agora.

free hit counter

Web counter

For the full copy of the conference paper and the powerpoint presentation. Addressing the problem of 'ecclesiastical drift' in Catholic school Religious Education. 2020

Re-contextualising Catholic school Religious Education: Educating young people spiritually, morally and religiously for the 21 st century Graham Rossiter Paper presented at the International Conference on Religious Education in Catholic Schools, Melbourne, 10-14 February 2020. The link page also has an mp4 video of the presentation. A shortened version of the study has been published in International Studies in Catholic Education, 2020, Vol. 12 (2) 191-205. https://doi.org/10.1080/19422539.2020.1810998

Research survey on language in the discourse (or narrative) of Catholic school Religious Education and on the need for more scope for critical evaluative study across the religion curriculum, but especially in senior classes. 2020

This research study investigates empirically some of the issues raised in the discussion paper above that identified the problem of 'ecclesiastical drift' in Catholic school Religious Education. It seeks the views of religious educators and others involved or interested in Catholic schooling. Online Survey and Report on initial test run of the questionnaire.
Click here or the icon for the web page that accesses both the Online Survey and a Research Report on the results of a test of the Questionnaire with 74 participants.

Presentation on enhancing the quality and vitality of Australian Research on Catholic Education 2021

Click for the link page with mp4 video of the presentation to the Australian network of GRACE (Global Researchers Advancing Catholic Education). The page has materials that follow up the presentation.

Forum for discussion and shared reflective commentary
Send any comments/reflections directly to g.rossiter@bigpond.com and these will be posted on a webpage accessed from this spot.

For free download of the new book on Religious Education -- Life to the full: The changing landscape of contemporary spirituality - Implications for Catholic Religious Education. 2018

Click here or the icon for free download of Life to the Full

Also linked to this page are the lectures and presentations from the professional development seminar at which the book was launched, together with audio-visual study materials that complement various chapters of the book

For free download of the Research Report on Retreats -- the views of teachers and senior students about Retreats in Australian Catholic secondary schools. 2016

Click here or the icon for the Retreats Research website and download of the book in pdf format

For download of the 22 chapters in the book Reasons for living: Education and young people's search for meaning, identity and spirituality by Marisa Crawford and Graham Rossiter

Click here or the icon for 22 chapters of Reasons for living, together with bibliography

 

A starting perspective on classroom Religious Education -- A preferred account of the nature, purposes and context of Catholic school religious education. Towards a 'narrative' for Religious Education that is meaningful and relevant for students and teachers.
Click the icon or below:
This is the strategically central section of the site's Professional Development Study Materials on Religious Education. It both underpins, and summarises the conclusions/implications from, all the other Sections.

The need for a critical, inquiring, research-oriented pedagogy in school religious education -- especially for the older secondary students

Click the icon or here for professional development study material on critical pedagogy for religious educators

This complements the text in chapter 10 of Life to the full. Click here for examples of how religion teachers have modelled critical pedagogy in mini-research projects during postgraduate studies in religious education. Click here for the example report on How social media can have a conditioning effect on people's identity.

A preliminary discussion of religious faith, together with reflections on what it means to educate young people in their religious faith tradition

Click the icon or here for professional development study material on religious faith and education in one's faith tradition

This material complements chapter 2 of Life to the full

Exploring the changing landscape of spirituality: Part A: An essential preliminary for contemporary religious education

Click the icon or here for professional development study material on contemporary spirituality Part A

This material complements the text in chapter 3 of Life to the full

The changing landscape of spirituality: Part B: Contrasting traditional religious spirituality with the relatively non-religious secular spirituality that is widespread in Westernised countries

Click the icon or here for professional development study material on contemporary spirituality Part B

This material complements the text in chapters 4 of Life to the full

How contemporary consumerist culture functions like a religion:
Its influence on meaning, identity and spirituality
Click the icon or here for professional development study material Part A on 'consumerist religion'. Secularisation? Or a different ‘religion' called consumerist lifestyle? – The research literature. This material complements the text in chapter 5 of Life to the full.
Click the icon or here for Part B on 'consumerist religion'. Decoding the mise-en-scène of contemporary consumerist lifestyle: A pedagogy for religious education with a critique of aspects of consumerism. This material complements the text in chapters 6 and 7 of Life to the full.

Some reflections on children's spirituality together with implications for primary school religious education

Click here or the icon for the section on children's spirituality

This material covers chapter 8 in Life to the full

Psychology of identity development and what it means to 'educate'
young people regarding the development of personal identity

Part 1

The 'elusive self' - Psychological and social functions of personal identity, and personal identity development
Part 2

Further research perspectives on the nature and psychological development of personal identity
Part 3

Young people's personal identity development: Finding a healthy path through the cultural maze
Educating young people in personal identity development

The nature and construction of meaning in life.
Issues related to the contemporary search for meaning and what it means to 'educate' young people in the 'search for meaning'

Part 1

Personal meaning in life: A study of the nature, psychological function and the construction of personal meaning.

Part 2

Change and development in personal meaning. Discussion of issues about interrelationships between personal and cultural meanings.

Part 3

Young people's search for meaning in a complex and confusing culture. And 'educating' the search for meaning.

A 'big picture' perspective on the historical development of Catholic school religious education in Australia

Click here or the icon for the study material on the historical development of Australian Catholic school religious education

Issues with the language in the discourse of Australian Catholic school religious education

Click here or the icon for study material on problems with the language of Catholic school religious education

This material goes into more detail than chapter 9 of Life to the full, together with some illustrative cartoons. It shows how there have been problems with the language of Catholic religious education going back to the 1970s

An international perspective on religious education -- from an Australian viewpoint This sets out to signpost developments and trends internationally. It also looks at a sample of scholarly writings from other countries as well as from Australia and New Zealand. The 'big picture' here is introductory; it was not intended to be comprehensive, and only a limited selection of works from scholars internationally have been included.

Part 1 UK state schools and Europe including development of state religion studies Part 2 USA and other internationals Part 3 Australia and New Zealand

Perspective on the Catholic identity of Catholic schools and on the task of educating young people about personal identity development

Click here or the icon for study material on the identity of Catholic schools and on 'identity education' in RE

This material relates to chapter 11 of Life to the full.

The REAL vs The VIRTUAL university religious education teacher: An interpretation of contrasts in participant engagement in learning between face-to-face and fully online teaching

Click here or the icon for the paper on the 'real' vs the 'virtual' teacher
also: Summary of points of student engagement and approach to assessment as core student 'learning'

Religious education in a media-saturated world: Studying the potential spiritual/moral influence of film/TV/Advertising/Social Media Part 1

Click here or the icon for study material on Propaganda and documentary film

Religious education in a media-saturated world: Studying the potential spiritual/moral influence of film/TV/Advertising/Social Media Part 2

Click here or the icon for study material on the potential influence of feature films, advertising, TV and social media

How the professional commitments of the religion teacher have a bearing on classroom religious education

Click here or the icon for study material on the professional commitments and code of ethics of religion teachers

Seminar for research students and supervisors on how to structure doctoral research and write up a doctoral thesis

Click here or the icon for recordings and papers on doctoral research thesis development

Examples of the use of a critical inquiring pedagogy for teaching
core religious topics in religious education

The sections above on the important need for a critical pedagogy in religious education, together with sections on consumerist religion and film/TV/Social media, dealt specially with issue-oriented content - problems with the construction of meaning in a confusing and challenging culture. The following are examples of how that same sort of inquiring, impartial pedagogy might be applied to core religious topics like Jesus, Scripture, Prayer, Morality and Church history. This is an example of how educators might study the topics, leaving it up to them to discern how the critical pedagogy and issue-related content can be applied at different levels of schooling from primary to secondary.

Across the curriculum perspective on prayer and teaching pupils about prayer in religious education

Part 1: The experiential dimension to teaching prayer
Part 2: General issues for teaching prayer across the curriculum

The prominence of ‘story' and ‘story-telling' related to the interpretation of Scripture: Issues for religious education

Click here or the icon for study material on the story telling and interpretation of Scripture

Key issues for teaching about Jesus across the K – 12 religion curriculum

Click here or the icon for study material on teaching Jesus

Issues for the teaching of Church history, and pupils' historical perspective on the development of the Christian church

Click here or the icon for study material on teaching church history

Teaching morality in religious education and some ideas about moral/values education

Click here or the icon for study material on teaching morality and moral/values education in RE

If you find that any of the above links, and or files do not work, please advise Graham Rossiter by email so that the problems can be rectified.

For any questions/inquiries/comments about the above, contact Professor Graham Rossiter.
Clck the email icon or here for Email: g.rossiter@bigpond.com