What do religious education teachers need to successfully lead the integration of Catholic social teaching across the years 9 and 10 curriculum?

Masters Thesis

Morrissey, Rebecca. (2023). What do religious education teachers need to successfully lead the integration of Catholic social teaching across the years 9 and 10 curriculum [Masters Thesis]. Australian Catholic University https://doi.org/10.26199/acu.8yz62
AuthorsMorrissey, Rebecca
TypeMasters Thesis
Qualification nameMaster of Education

Catholic schools share in and give witness to the evangelising mission of the Catholic Church. With Jesus Christ at the centre, schools cultivate an educational experience that encourages and supports students in pursuit of meaningful lives underpinned by a commitment to social justice and the common good (Congregation for Catholic Education [CCE], 1977, 1997, 2017, 2022). In the last three decades, support has grown for the integration of Catholic social teaching (CST) across the Catholic schools’ general curriculum as a means of supporting the mission of Catholic schools (CCE, 1977; Gleeson, 2015, 2019; Goldburg, 2017; Grace, 2013; Groome, 1996; Lane, 1991). Religious education (RE) teachers who engage with CST in the RE curriculum should be familiar with CST and, therefore, well positioned to lead its integration across all subjects taught.

This qualitative study, examines the question “What do religious education teachers need to successfully lead the integration of CST across the Years 9 and 10 curriculum?” The data drawn upon in response to this question included the insights of RE teachers who worked in a large Foundation to Year 12 (F–12) Catholic school in Victoria owned and governed by Marist Schools Australia (MSA). Participants’ insights were obtained through unstructured in-depth interviews. The original principles of classic grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Holton & Walsh, 2017) were drawn upon to categorise and analyse key insights in order to identify the needs of RE teachers to successfully lead the integration of CST.

The findings indicated that in the absence of clear clarification regarding CST by the case study school participating RE teachers had varied understandings of CST as a distinct body of knowledge within the Church tradition. Furthermore, in the absence of a role descriptor, the RE teachers formed individual responses, leading to an inconsistent understanding regarding their role to lead the integration of CST across the curriculum. Further findings revealed that participants needed support with how to put the theoretical idea of CST integration into classroom practice. In addition, they further needed clarification from the school leadership team concerning their roles, responsibilities, and authority to lead the integration of CST.

Based on these findings, recommendations that could support the RE teachers in their ability to lead the integration of CST are presented in the final chapter to assist the school at the centre of the study.

KeywordsCatholic social teaching; religious education teacher; Catholic school; curriculum integration; Classic Grounded Theory; CST; Generation Z; Victoria; social justice; Catholic Education; Australia; Marist ; Marist Education; Victorian curriculum; See Judge Act
PublisherAustralian Catholic University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26199/acu.8yz62
Page range1-176
Final version
File Access Level
Supplementary Files (Layperson Summary)
File Access Level
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online19 Apr 2023
Publication process dates
Completed07 Jan 2023
Deposited19 Apr 2023
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