TD17: Celebrating St. David

Summary: provides information on St. David, patron saint of Wales. Schools in Wales are required to teach the Welsh dimension when teaching RE and the author seeks to help teachers understand more about the life of St. David and to suggest ways of using this information in lesson ideas. Explores why David was given the title ‘saint’, why he was chose as patron saint of Wales and what was so special about him. The author has produced a booklet with key themes such as the life of a monk, prayer, God, angels, baptism and pilgrimage.

TD16: A Study of Past and Present Approaches to Catechesis in Catholic Schools

Summary: looks at teaching and learning methodologies and resources for catechesis past and present. Concentrates in particular on the new catechetical programme used in Catholic schools called Alive O. First introduced in 1996 into primary one classes with each year up to primary four (year three) following on in subsequent years, this programme re-asserts the importance of prayer by placing it at the centre of the entire enterprise of catechesis. The author believes that this prayer time is immensely spiritual and restorative for both teacher and child. Also looks at the provision for pastoral care of the teacher/catechist and how […]

TD15: Black Liberation Theology of South Africa

Summary: examines the history of Christianity in South Africa and the ideas of the Dutch Reformed Church. Traces the flowering of theology in South Africa, Black Theology and the Black Consciousness Movement and finally Black Liberation theology of the 1960s-80s. Refers to Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, the Kairos Document and the end of the Apartheid state. Ends by referring to Thabo Mbeki looking to the future, the apology of the Dutch Reformed Church.

TD14: An Exploration of the Compatibility of a Scientific Worldview and the Existence of a Creator God

Summary: presents in layman’s language the classical ‘design’ argument for the existence of God as presented by William Paley in 1802. Examines the modern criticism of this argument, particularly in light of the work of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, and the work of Richard Dawkins. There then follows a restatement of this ‘design’ argument as presented by Keith Ward which can be seen to work alongside a scientific view of the world and does not require rejection of evolution as a viable theory. Presents a scheme of work for use in primary school with lesson plans and […]

TD13: An Appraisal of relevant Internet Sites for A level Church History (N.I.)

Summary: an exhaustive look at web sites relevant to the Northern Ireland A level Religious Studies option on the Christian Church in the Roman Empire to 325 AD. Provides detailed information about key web sites for early Church history to the 4th c, including art, maps and timelines with advice on how to use them in the classroom. There is an extensive catalogue of sites for teacher and pupil use as well as a list of web sites specific to the role of women during the Roman persecutions.                   

TD12: The Bible is just Myths and Legends

Summary: examines how the children themselves regard Scriptural stories in the context of truth. Defines myth in the classroom context, looking in particular at Egyptian and Norse mythology. Considers the Church of England report on faith as it is experienced through the different age groups alongside the thoughts of scholars and child psychologists. The author asked teachers and pupils for their responses which were analysed within the context of the schools themselves. Several conclusions are reached about using Bible stories in teaching.

TD11: An Investigation into How to Cope with Death in the Secondary School

Summary: sets out to understand why death is a taboo subject and what can be done in RE to talk about death. Investigates what death education involves in the curriculum and how it can be developed. The author believes that RE is in an excellent position to develop this topic and give pupils a solid grounding in the whole notion of loss, change, death, and grief. There is also a concern that schools are not prepared for a tragedy and that all schools should have a policy and guidelines as to what they should do in the event of a […]

TD10: The Case for Jesus the Messiah

Summary: a christological interpretation of Psalms 2, 22, 45 and 110 which are part of the biblical studies syllabi for STD 8 and STD 9 (South African syllabi). The author examines the concept of Messiah and the messianic as well as non-messianic expectations contained in the Psalms. Reference is also made to scholastic views, rabbinical writings and passages from the New Testament. There are detailed expositions of each of the Psalms as well as explanations of various christological titles such as Christ as everlasting king. Contains a useful bibliography for reference on this topic.

TD09: Revisiting Emmaus: The Eucharist and Catholic Education

Summary: addresses issues concerning the teaching of the Eucharist, especially in Church schools. Examines Nicholas Lash’s book, ‘Theology on the way to Emmaus’, especially the chapter on Catholic culture, but also includes a list of other recommended books in the bibliography. The author presents a critique on the teaching materials provided on the ‘Eucharist’ for the new national R.E. programme ‘Icons’. Acknowledges the challenge of teaching a difficult doctrine and related issues, particularly those to do with inter-communion. Provides the focus for some practical ideas, or ‘springboards’ at the end of the Report, for teaching and reflecting upon various aspects […]

TD08: The Mexican Day of the Dead

Summary: discusses teaching about death in secondary school, including an example of a unit of work on death and some general points about dealing with death. The Spanish Catholic background of the Mexican Day of the Dead is examined through the history of the festivals of All Saints and All Souls and the mediaeval Dance of Death. The Mexican Day of the Dead is explained with reference to the altars in the peoples’ homes, visits to the graveyard and the symbolic relationship between the living and the dead. Material from personal fieldwork in Mexico is included. An analysis of the […]