New Anglican Schools Commission Religious Studies Curriculum Available to NAES Members

Anglican Schools CommissionThe National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES) is pleased to announce that the newly updated religious studies curriculum published by the Anglican Schools Commission (ASC), located in Western Australia, is now available to NAES members. Access and login information is available by contacting Ann Mellow, associate director of NAES.

The revised curriculum includes contributions from a team of NAES member chaplains led by Ann Mellow.

Like its predecessor, the updated “Religious Studies Curriculum for Anglican Schools” recognizes the enormous variety within and among both Episcopal and Anglican schools in terms of course content, grades taught, frequency of class meetings, educational philosophies, and skills and interests of teachers. As a result, the updated curriculum remains a flexible framework that schools can use to develop sequential courses of study and/or that individual teachers can use to create units of study for their classrooms.

Launched in August 2013, the new web-based curriculum is organized into seven core themes (called “strands”):

  • The Bible and Christian Belief
  • Story of the Church
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Christian Ethics and Ethical Theory
  • World Religions
  • Meditation, Prayer and Worship
  • Faith in Action

Each strand offers key concepts, key questions, knowledge and understanding, attitudes and values, and skills across four developmental levels: early childhood, middle childhood, early adolescence, and late adolescence. Suggested resources are listed and approximately thirty individual lessons developed by Australian Anglican school educators are available.

The updated curriculum is designed to maximize inter-disciplinary connections: many of its key concepts, key questions, and skills will be equally relevant to history, social studies, English, science and other subject areas. A new strand called Faith in Action addresses the centrality of meaningful service learning in Anglican and Episcopal schools. The World Religions component now focuses on a “lived religion” approach that offers increased opportunities for inter-faith dialogue and understanding. And the use of graphic tables, rather than narrative text, makes the framework easy to follow across individual strands or developmental levels.

In 2011, NAES was invited to contribute to the update. The team of contributors included:

The Rev. Kirkland Knight
Middle School Chaplain and Associate Head of School for Character Development and Service Learning
Episcopal High School of Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, LA

The Rev. Carol Luther
Chaplain and Director of Service Learning
St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Oakland, CA

The Rev. Stacy Williams-Duncan
Charlottesville, VA

NAES thanks our ASC colleagues for their commitment, generosity, and skill in making this curriculum available to our members: Janet Evans, Philip Goldsworthy, Christine Pattison, Linda Pilton, and Clare Saunders.

NAES members are invited to learn more about the curriculum at this upcoming webinar:

A New Framework for Religious Studies

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
2:00–3:00 p.m. (EST)