Press Release from the Eastern Ontario Catholic Curriculum Corporation (EOCCC) October, 2015 –
Teachers can now get a head start on addressing some of the expectations listed in the Religious Education: Ontario Catholic Elementary Curriculum Policy Document (ICE, 2012). That’s because the EOCCC has released its latest document, “Though Many, We Are One”. Although it’s meant to act as a starting point for teachers and does not begin to cover the fullness of the curriculum policy document, the resource will offer examples of how expectations in the document might be brought to life in the classroom.
Recognizing the existence of combined and multiple grades in many of our schools, each lesson may deal with expectations from Grades 4, 5, or 6, rather than for one single grade. At the heart of this project is the role of Catholic teachers ‘… in promoting authentic education, instruction in the faith, and in witness to the common good.’ (ICE 2012, p 6).
The program offers examples and suggestions for the integration of Religious Education into other subjects and ultimately helps students to understand how faith is applied to all aspects of life. Picture books and video links are often used to elicit discussion of the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church. This resource includes a wide variety of learning activities including reading, re- search, prayer and reflection, and rich literature and the arts.
Technology is integrated through educational applications such as Padlet and Wordle, as well as through online video and music resource links, which ultimately help to engage students.
The project’s creation came thanks to the collaboration of teachers from across all four boards. The first three units were written by a team of junior teachers in the Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, with four additional units created by an EOCCC team made up of writers from all four member boards. “This EOCCC project welcomed new writers to add even greater variety to “Though Many, We Are One”, while maintaining a commitment to prayer, sacred scripture, Catholic teaching and tradition, within the cycle of the liturgical calendar,” explains project leader Ann Boniferro.
After an initial meeting to decide on a framework and lesson template, each teacher worked independently to create a group of lessons. As a result, each lesson reflects the teaching style of the individual writer.
Currently being piloted by teachers of religion in the junior division, “Though Many, We Are One” will provide valuable information, including evidence of student learning.
“Teachers are excited about a new resource to support them as they transmit the faith to their students,” says Boniferro.