Religious education will be greatly enhanced in Catholic schools through a new podcast exploring key areas covered in the primary and secondary curriculum in ways that are readily accessible to all students whatever their faith background.
The Archdiocese of Sydney, in partnership with Sydney Catholic Schools, has launched RE Search, a weekly podcast during school term time with each podcast lasting no longer than 20 minutes.
It is presented by Andrew Martin, a senior Religious Education teacher with over 20 years’ experience who is currently Network K-12 Religious Education Officer with SCS.
Through interviews with special guests including Bishop Daniel Meagher, each podcast explores key areas in the RE curriculum, from the writers of the Gospels and the unique personal stories of the saints through to the beauty of ecumenism and interfaith dialogue.
“We’re addressing the same questions that students raise in religious education classrooms”, Mr Martin said.
“They want to know who are the Gospel writers-Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? How did they know Jesus? Were they eyewitnesses and if they weren’t, how can we trust what they’re saying? They’re hard questions and it’s not everyday that the students benefit from being able to ask those questions of a bishop”.
Bishop Meagher said he believes the podcast will help complement the religious education syllabus by presenting content to students in more creative ways than has been possible in the past.
“Teaching isn’t a matter of just having an excellent syllabus. It’s also about the delivery which needs to be interesting and engaging”, he said.
Bishop Meagher said many religious education teachers have great demands placed upon their time and he hopes the RE Search podcast can help harness technology to ease some of the burdens.
“It will help teachers who are, for example, teaching geography, economics, history and English and also religion and it gives them an extra complement in their suite of classroom tools”, he said.
“We need to think creatively and be responsive to the way our students are learning in contemporary society, to help us in turn to respond more effectively to their hungering for knowledge and hungering for God and adapting the curriculum so as to deliver it in a way that they’re now used to receiving it, so the Gospel can be ever fresh in our times”, Bishop Meagher added.
Mr Martin said he hopes to explore a wide range of topics in upcoming episodes.
“I’m very interested in exploring the whole nature of Church in the modern world and what Church means to young people and how, through the Church, they can engage in the world and do good works”, he explained.
“Young people have a lot of questions about how to serve marginalised and vulnerable people well, ethically and morally, in keeping with the wonderful teachings that we have in Catholicism, but they’ve got lots of questions about those teachings and what that looks like in practice. So I’d very much like to explore that further in the near future”.
RE Search podcasts are available for download from The Catholic Weekly website: https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/category/podcasts/