Teaching Religious Education: The Ethics and Religious Culture Program as Case Study

Sabrina N. Jafralie, Arzina Zaver


Responding to religious diversity and the new reality of schooling, the Ethics and Religious Culture (ERC) Program was introduced as a mandatory subject for all students in Quebec, Canada. Now in it's tenth year, the ERC has faced both challenges and successes in it's implementation. Though many studies have been written around the wider concepts of religious education and religious literacy in the public system, few studies have included voices from educators. Jafralie and Zaver's qualitative research study examines the potentials and struggles of the ERC Program, and by doing so, raise important considerations around the effective teaching of religion.  The findings point to several consistent themes that teachers grapple with in regards to curriculum and pedagogy and highlights that in-service teachers are not thoroughly prepared to teach about religion, nor are teacher education programs effectively preparing pre-service teachers entering the field to deal with the complexities of teaching about religion in a secular setting. The authors suggest avenues in which teacher education for ERC teachers, and all religious education teachers, can look like in order for students and teachers to engage meaningfully with religious diversity. 


Ethics and Religious Culture program, Professional Development, Religious literacy, Quebec, Teaching 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.32865/fire201951136


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