Unit overview and content

In this unit, students will study how the Godly Play approach can influence the development of religious education pedagogy in Catholic schools. The contributions of Maria Montessori, E. M. Standing and Sofia Cavalletti to religious education will be examined, as will the influence of the Montessori Method on Jerome Berryman’s approach to religious education, known as Godly Play. Students will apply key principals of Godly Play to contemporary religious education to create new stories and materials, as well as identify some of the challenges this approach poses for pedagogical practice in Australian Catholic classrooms.

Unit content includes:

    • Montessori, the Montessorians and Religious Education
    • Sofia Cavalletti and The Catechesis of The Good Shepherd – Work versus Play
    • A Theology of Play
    • Towards a Theology of Childhood
    • Theological Play
    • Play, Imagination and the Creative Process
    • Godly Play in School and Parish Contexts
    • Challenges for the Future

Assumed Knowledge 

REDU800 & REDU801

Study hours

10 hours per week for 12 week session, comprised of

  • At least 1 hour per week for online lectures
  • At least 4 hours per week of reading.
  • At least 6 hours per week of directed study, including optional and assessable online activities.


A/Prof Brendan Hyde

Teaching methods

Online lectures; online activities; guided reading; scaffolded assessments; feedback on assessments. Opportunities for face-to-face offerings also exist.

Indicative Assessment

At the Institute we use a range of assessment tasks, including essays, research papers, online posts, critical reflections, projects and praxis exercises. Within a unit of study each set of assessment tasks is designed as an integral part of your learning experience. These tasks vary across units and programs. All assessment tasks are aligned to the Australian Qualifications Framework level appropriate for graduate awards.