Section A: General Information by g5z7RL


									Additional Qualification Courses
      Religious Education

       Program Information
        Course Descriptors

          October 2005
A.Q. Courses In Religious Education
October, 2005

Section A: General Information
    1.      Admission Requirements

            a) Applicants register for the OECTA/OCSTA A.Q. Course in Religious Education
               at the local level. Registration forms are available from either the site Course
               Director or the District School Board.

            b) All applications submitted at the local level are sent to the provincial Registrar at
               OECTA to ensure that candidates have met the admission requirements stated in
               Regulation 184/97.Candidates who do not meet the requirements are informed of
               this by the Registrar.

    2.      Location and Schedule

            a) A.Q. courses in Religious Education are offered throughout the province of
               Ontario. Directors of Education for specific boards write a letter to the Provincial
               Coordinator requesting a course be offered for teachers in that board. These
               requests are presented to the Administration Committee and a letter of
               confirmation is sent to the Director of Education, the course director for the site
               and the OECTA Unit President following official approval. OECTA/OCSTA
               courses are offered three times during the calendar year – Fall/Winter,
               Intersession, and Summer.

            b) Courses are 125 hours in length in accordance with Regulation 184/97. The
               program is divided into 100 hours of instructional time and 25 hours of research,
               planning and assignments.

    3.      Registration

            a) The tuition fee for the course is $500.00.

            b) Minimum number of candidates required at each location to operate an A. Q.
               course is ten. When there are less than ten candidates registered for a course,
               Course Directors must seek approval for its operation from the Provincial

    4.      Personnel

            a) Course Directors are responsible for the delivery of the A. Q. courses at each
               location. Course Directors are selected through an interview process that involves
               both the Board’s Director of Education or designate and OECTA’s provincial
               coordinator. Preference is given to candidates who:

                          have an M.R.E. or equivalent
                          have a minimum of five years teaching experience in Catholic Education

A.Q. Courses In Religious Education
October, 2005

                          have experience in professional development and adult learning
                          demonstrate leadership skills in the area of administration of curriculum
                           projects and tasks
                          demonstrates a knowledge of and commitment to Catholic education,
                           curriculum delivery, assessment and evaluation issues

    5.      Records

            a) Admission documentation for candidates is kept on file at the provincial office. It
               is the responsibility of the local Course Director to ensure that fair and effective
               participant evaluation takes place, that assignments are returned to candidates and
               that a final list of names of those candidates who successfully complete the course
               is sent to the Registrar. In turn, the Registrar informs the College of Teachers of
               successful completion of the A.Q. program.

Section B: Program Information
      1.    Program Syllabus

            a) Course Description

            A.Q. courses in Religious Education are designed to promote the professional growth
            and religious literacy of teachers. To that end, the program fosters professional
            knowledge in the field of religious education, assists teachers in their on-going
            commitment to religious formation and learning, integrates teaching practice and
            religious knowledge, builds faith communities through personal and communal
            renewal, and develops skills that enhance school programs and student learning
            within Catholic schools.

            b) Guiding Vision of the Course

            Courses in Religious Education are intended to help teachers to grow as adult
            members of the Catholic Church, so that they may be able to pass on faith learning to
            the children, young people, and colleagues with whom they work. Under the guidance
            of instructional leaders and faith facilitators, course participants will be invited to
            explore the many aspects of Catholic Christianity.

            The foundation of the Christian tradition is rooted in Scripture, which tells of the
            unique relationship of God and humanity unfolding in human history. Through
            centuries of thought, the Church has developed her understanding of God’s revelation
            and expressed that understanding in creeds and doctrines. A rich tradition of thought
            and practice has grown regarding the seven sacraments; and a strong, sophisticated,
            slowly-evolving set of teachings has given Catholics guidance about their moral
            decisions in their personal and communal lives as they seek to live the demands of the
            gospel in a constantly changing world.

A.Q. Courses In Religious Education
October, 2005

            All of these dimensions of Catholic life are explored in these courses in the light of
            contemporary Catholic thought.

            The guiding vision of these courses might be stated as follows:

                Religion is more than just a memory about the unknowable, more than just a
                collection of archaic theories about the unknowable, more than just a series of
                customs and practices done out of habit for no good reason. Religion has a
                transforming effect on our lives. Thus, it should be a dynamic, integrating factor
                in a life lived in loving union with God.

            These courses, therefore, are not merely professional training alone. They are
            intended to help teachers search together for meaning. In a community of mutual
            concern, support and trust participants are given the opportunity to grow as believing
            adults. Working together, they gain the strength, courage and confidence to address
            the practicalities of curriculum implementation and faith leadership within schools.

            c) Structure

            The program develops in three parts, in accordance with Regulation 184/97. Each part
            is divided into four instructional strands/modules. They are:
                     Faith Formation and Learning
                     Scripture
                     Christian Morality and Ethics
                     Sacrament and Prayer

            d) Design Features

            All three parts share common design features. These features are as follows:
                 An instructional focus for each part of the course
                 Strand organizers that function as contexts for personal and professional

            The instructional focus for each part of the A.Q. program is as follows:
                Part 1 – Faith Formation and Learning
                Part 2 – Discipleship
                Part 3 – Ministry

            Contexts for learning identify three specific curriculum organizers that are intrinsic to
            personal and professional learning and are integrated throughout the delivery of each
            instructional strand. They are:
                   Contemporary Context – what are the contemporary concerns/issues related
                      to this strand?

A.Q. Courses In Religious Education
October, 2005

                        Church Context -- how does the Church as faith community and living
                         tradition respond to these concerns/issues?
                        Curriculum Context – what are the curricular implications of these
                         concerns/issues as related to instructional program, pedagogical strategies
                         and student learning within Catholic schools? What do I say to students?
                         How do I answer their questions?

            e) Program Objectives

            A.Q. courses in Religious Education aim:

                       to provide for personal and professional learning as it applies to the
                        foundations of the Catholic faith
                       to engage the learner in a systematic process of study and dialogue in relation
                        to the instructional strands of Faith Formation and Learning, the Scriptures,
                        Christian Morality and Ethics, and Sacrament and Prayer
                       to provide a learning environment based on the principles of adult learning
                       to encourage the development of teachers as educational leaders who create
                        and sustain learning communities in their classrooms that integrate life
                        experience and journeys of faith
                       to define and explain various teaching strategies related to religious formation
                        and learning and methods of integrating gospel values across the curriculum
                       to provide opportunities for candidates to deepen their awareness of the
                        spiritual dimension of teaching and learning through prayer and communal
                       to demonstrate an understanding of the Ontario Catholic Graduate
                        Expectations and their relationship to curriculum development and

            f) Learning Outcomes

            By the end of A.Q. courses in Religious Education, candidates will:

                       identify the main features of a Christian anthropology
                       demonstrate an understanding of the Catholic faith tradition and its
                        implications for teaching and learning in Catholic schools (e.g. the Apostle’s
                       describe the skills necessary to deliver, modify, and refine teaching practice in
                        Religious Education and religious literacy
                       identify theological and religious resources that assist in faith formation and
                        faith learning
                       explain the history and nature of liturgical and sacramental practice
                       value the religious quest for meaning in the contemporary world
                       critique social, political, and economic structures in light of the Church’s
                        social teachings

A.Q. Courses In Religious Education
October, 2005

                    use technology in a moral and ethical fashion

            g) Time-tabling

            Recommended contact hours for each instructional strand are as follows:

            Faith Formation           Part 1 = 20 hours   Part 2 = 20 hours     Specialist = 30
            and Learning                                                        hours
            Scripture                 Part 1 = 30 hours   Part 2 = 30 hours     Specialist = 30
            Christian Morality        Part 1 = 25 hours   Part 2 = 25 hours     Specialist = 20
            and Ethics                                                          hours
            Sacrament and             Part 1 = 25 hours   Part 2 = 25 hours     Specialist = 20
            Prayer                                                              hours

            For each part of the A.Q. Religious Education program, non-contact hours used for
            research, planning, and assignments total 25 hours.

            h) On-line Learning

            It is recommended that Course Directors provide no more than two modules through
            a distance learning format. Any other arrangement must be submitted to the
            Provincial Co-ordinator for approval.

            2. Candidate Assessment

            Issues related to the assessment of candidates such as types and rubrics for
            assessment, due dates, and marking schemes are the responsibility of local Course
            Directors and their instructional staff. Assessment procedures should be clearly
            communicated to candidates at the beginning of each course. General guidelines are
            as follows:

                    there must be an assessment process in place for each instructional strand of
                     the course
                    course requirements must be developed in concert with the principles of
                     professional learning
                    assignments must include a skill set related to classroom religious learning
                    design of assignments must enhance candidate’s professional growth (i.e.
                     integrate faith development into professional growth)
                    assignments may include:
                      action research projects (i.e. teacher research on instructional practice
                          related to religious learning and school-based activity)
                      seminars
                      written assignments
                      non-print assignments
                      internet application for classroom delivery

A.Q. Courses In Religious Education
October, 2005

                         theological reflections

            3. Program Evaluation

                a) Course Directors must provide a course evaluation for candidates that
                   identifies information regarding the delivery of the course, the quality of
                   instruction, and ways in which the course promote personal and professional
                   growth in the area of Religious Education.

                b) The date of the last major revision to the A.Q. courses in Religious Education
                   is December, 2000. It is recommended that the program be reviewed and
                   updated in December 2005.

Standards of Practice
A.Q. Courses in Religious Education support the Standards of Practice for the Teaching
Profession in the following ways:

    1. Commitment to Students and Student Learning

    Religious Education plays an integral role in the learning experiences of students and
    complements the various faith-related activities that take place within the instructional setting
    of these schools as learning communities.

    As a program area, Religious Education provides learning opportunities for the development
    of students’ knowledge of religious language, concepts, and ideas. In doing so, students are
    able to gain access to religious literacy as expressed within the Catholic faith as well as to the
    religious attitudes and life skills related to a religious worldview. The program also invites
    students to build their relationship with the person of Jesus Christ in a learning environment
    that recognizes the centrality of God, the dignity of the human person, and the importance of
    moral norms.

    The A.Q. courses in Religious Education assist teachers in developing instructional practice
    which supports student learning, especially with reference to religious literacy and faith
    formation. Teachers also learn creative ways to build inclusive classrooms based on the
    inherent dignity of the learner and the principles of Catholic social teaching. Finally, teachers
    develop skills conducive to teaching an integrated program where there are strong
    connections between religious education, the life of the learner, and the importance of
    community celebration and outreach.

    2. Professional Knowledge

    Religious Education, as an evolving discipline, enables young people to learn the knowledge,
    attitudes, and skills of life-long learners who value the religious dimension of human
    experience within a multi-religious society. Essential to this learning is the knowledge

A.Q. Courses In Religious Education
October, 2005

    associated with Sacred Scripture, Church teachings, the sacramental and prayer life of the
    faith community, and its moral foundations for Christian living and family life.

    The A.Q. courses in Religious Education provide the professional knowledge that serves as a
    foundation for religious learning and formation within Catholic schools. The instructional
    strands/modules found in the courses are aligned directly to the strands used in the religious
    education programs taught in Catholic elementary and secondary schools ensuring a direct
    link between professional knowledge and teaching practice. Moreover, the organizers for
    learning used in the course allow for extensive discussion of the relationship between current
    issues in religious education, the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on such matters
    and how these issues and concerns are addressed in the curriculum. Hence, teachers remain
    current in their professional knowledge of religious education and its application to the lives
    of students and a changing world.

    3. Teaching Practice

    Critical to any process of meaningful learning in Religious Education are the following:
             content relevant to the student’s life experience
             learning activities that engage the interest and imagination of the learner
             learning opportunities that link new concepts, ideas, and skills to previous
             time to reflect on new ideas and concepts, both individually and as a group
             relevant connections to assist in the assimilation of new knowledge, attitudes and
                 skills into the student’s learning
             activities that challenge students to construct new knowledge
             ways to assess and evaluate the student’s growth and development

    A. Q. courses in Religious Education assist teachers in the application of professional
    knowledge to religious learning and formation. Skills associated with this process include the
    ability to develop creative instructional strategies for religious education that are age
    appropriate, to implement a developmental approach to faith formation, to modify curriculum
    and assessment to meet the needs of exceptional students, and to identify appropriate
    assessment and evaluation techniques for exceptional students. Course assignments are tied
    directly to instructional issues and practice within Catholic education.

    4. Leadership and Community

    A.Q. courses in Religious Education promote teachers as leaders in several ways. For
    example, teachers work together with colleagues in the presentation of seminars that address
    current issues and concerns within education. They assist in the organization and facilitation
    of course-related community events and worship. They discuss strategies to enhance school
    programs and student learning and ways to build bridges between home, school and parish.

    One of the core convictions of religious education is that people experience their humanness
    most fully as a “community-of-persons,” one that affirms both a personal and a social
    dimension to human relations. Hence, religious education promotes a different message than

A.Q. Courses In Religious Education
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    that of society’s rugged individualism where others are treated as competitors for scarce
    resources – a message of cooperation and commitment to the common good. To that end,
    teachers are encouraged to create and sustain learning communities within their own
    classrooms and convey concern for the common good in both their instructional practice and
    in the relationship with the wider educational community.

    5. Ongoing Professional Learning

    Teachers are involved in lifelong learning as a professional responsibility. They regularly
    seek new knowledge and methodologies that contribute to their practice. They recognize the
    need for collegial discussion as to what constitutes effective teaching and learning. They
    appreciate the value of new resources to assist them in the delivery of curriculum. And they
    recognize the role action research and professional development days can play in the
    enhancement of teaching practice.

    A.Q. courses in religious education encourage teachers to acknowledge their need for
    ongoing faith formation and professional development. The courses are designed to provide
    opportunities for both personal and professional growth, especially in the areas of faith
    formation and religious learning. They introduce teachers to current issues in the field of
    religious education, provide relevant professional knowledge and educational research that
    addresses these issues and identify various approaches to teaching and learning that improve
    classroom practice. Most importantly, they give teachers an opportunity to discuss and
    explore educational issues related to their own professional lives and work.

A.Q. Courses In Religious Education
October, 2005

                  A.Q. Courses In Religious Education
                        Part Three – Specialist

Instructional Strand:                 Instructional Time:           Instructional Focus:
Faith Formation and                    30 hours                     The Call to Ministry As
Learning                                                            Servant Leaders

Content Areas:

       The Call to Ministry – What is ministry? How is ministry a form of leadership? What
        model of ministry is being called for in this time in history? How do the various styles of
        ministry fit in today’s educational setting? How does ministry as servant leaders address
        issues related to living in a pluralistic culture?

       Ministry in Action – In what ways can the call to ministry be demonstrated in Catholic

Contexts for Learning:

Contemporary Context – Why is the Christian call to ministry under siege in today’s society?
How does this affect the vision and mandate of Catholic education? Where are the contemporary
signs of hope that the gospel message is still relevant as a foundation for ministry?

Church Context – How does the Church define its role in the world as a call to ministry? How
can the Church continue to function as a relevant partner in Catholic education today?

Curricular Context – What examples are there that Christian ministry is lived out within the
mandate of Catholic schools? How do Catholic schools serve as a learning environment for the
call to ministry?

A.Q. Courses In Religious Education
October, 2005

                  A.Q. Courses in Religious Education
                        Part Three – Specialist

Instructional Strand:                 Instructional Hours:          Instructional Focus –
Scripture                             30 hours                      Ministry of Hope in
                                                                    Times of Crisis

Content Areas:

       First (Old) Testament – What do the Psalms have to say about hope? How does the
        Wisdom literature (i.e. Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Wisdom) add to this approach to life?

       Spirituality of Leadership in the Gospel of John – How does John’s Gospel address the
        concerns of a ministry of hope in times of crisis?

       Other New Testament Writings – What additional insights can be gleaned from other
        New Testament writings (i.e. Acts of the Apostles, Pauline Letters, Apocalyptic
        literature) concerning ministry and hope?

Contexts for Learning

Contemporary Context – How do the “signs of the times” point to a crisis of leadership in
today’s society? What is meant by authentic spirituality and how is it related to a ministry of
hope? Why is a supportive/nurturing community so essential to ministry today?

Church Context – What is the basis for Christian hope in the scriptures? What is the role of
Christian community in times of crisis? How can prayer sustain ministry during times of despair?

Curricular Context – How are students learning a hopeful stance toward life through the
curriculum (i.e. Fully Alive, Many Gifts)? What is the relationship between the professed values
of Catholic schools and their operative values? Why is adult faith formation an essential
component of contemporary ministry?

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October, 2005

                  A.Q. Courses In Religious Education
                        Part Three - Specialist
Instructional Strand:                 Instructional Time:         Instructional Focus:
Christian                             20 hours                    Co-creation, Morality
Morality/Ethics                                                   and Ministry

Content Areas:

       The Human Person as co-creator with God- What is Christian anthropology? How are
        body and spirit integral and united aspects of the human person? Why are today’s
        Christians confronted with so many dilemmas and decisions regarding complex issues of
        sexuality and life and death?

       Church teaching on Human Sexuality – In what ways is creation an act of love? What
        does the Church teach about the mystery of sexuality, being created male and female,
        sexual orientation, and the human longing for relationships of belonging and intimacy?

       Co-creators in a Technological Age – How have reproductive technologies affected
        moral decision making concerning issues such as abortion, cloning and in vitro
        fertilization? How does contemporary culture influence our thinking concerning the
        issues such as genetically modified foods, HIV and AIDS, stem-cell research, and health-
        care resources?

Contexts for Learning:
Contemporary Context – Why do humans long for intimacy and transcendence? How have rapid
developments in new technologies affected moral and ethical issues? What are the problems
associated with the shadow side of scientism and the myth of technological progress? In what
ways has our understanding of sexual identity changed over the years? How has the family

Church Context – What is meant by the Church’s approach to a consistent ethic of life? How
does the Church’s teaching on sexual ethics and family develop? Why is there a lag between
developments in technology and Church teaching? What official teachings are there on the
complex issues of sexuality, life and death, technological development, and bio-ethics?

Curricular Context - How does the Family Life program ( i.e., Fully Alive, Reaching Out,
Turning Points) in Catholic schools address issues of sexuality and Church teaching on issues of
life and death? In what ways does the AIDS educational program in Catholic schools help
students to understand health-related ethical issues? What role do other program areas play in
presenting issues of life and death within the context of faith?

A.Q. Courses In Religious Education
October, 2005

                  A.Q. Courses In Religious Education
                        Part Three – Specialist
Instructional Strand:                 Instructional Time:         Instructional Focus:
Sacrament/Prayer                      20 hours                    Sacraments of Vocation
                                                                  and Commitment

Content Areas:
       Ministry within the Church – What is your personal experience of vocation as a call to
        service? Why is spirituality so essential to personal growth? How has the understanding
        of spirituality changed over the years? In what ways has ministry broadened its spectrum
        of services over the centuries?

       Sacraments of Vocation and Commitment: Marriage – What are the scriptural and
        historical foundations of this sacrament? How is this commitment to mutual love
        celebrated liturgically? What are the contemporary pastoral concerns regarding divorce,
        remarriage, annulments and inter-faith marriages?

       Sacraments of Vocation and Commitment: Holy Orders – What are the scriptural and
        historical foundations of this sacrament? How is this commitment to the Church
        celebrated in liturgical rite? What responsibilities are associated with the deaconate,
        presbyter and Episcopal office? What are some of the pastoral issues associated with the

Contexts for Learning:

Contemporary Context – In what ways has the understanding of marriage and spousal
commitment changed in contemporary times? How has family life become more complex? How
has society’s perception of ministerial priesthood changed? What impact has the women’s
movement had on spirituality? How has globalization affected the family?

Church Context – How has the emergence of an informed and committed laity changed the role
of priesthood today? Why is there a shortage of clergy today and how has this affected the nature
of ministerial priesthood? What should influence the pastoral response to changing family
structures, alternative unions and divorce?

Curricular Context – How does the family life program (i.e., Fully Alive, Turning Points,
Reaching Out) address issues of marriage and family? In what ways do other program areas in
Catholic schools address issues of vocation and commitment? How can schools support students
who experience divorce and alternate family issues?


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